Many advanced composite materials use hazardous chemicals in the adhesive resin and use inorganic fibers for strength.
A typical composite like fiberglass might use a styrene-polyester co-polymer, a polyurethane, or an epoxy resin. While the cured resin is unreactive, the uncured form may be quite toxic, posing risk during manufacturing.
Furthermore, the resources used to make traditional composites are non-renewable: petroleum, natural gas, and minerals.
Dr. Wool is a chemical engineering professor at University of Delaware and was recent academic winner of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Professor Richard Wool has created several high-performance materials using biobased feedstocks, including vegetable oils, chicken feathers, and flax. These materials can be manufactured using less water and energy, and producing less hazardous waste compared to petroleum-based processes. Professor Wool's products can be used as adhesives, composites, foams, and even as circuit boards...
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