(395b) Fundamental Design of Bio-Based Polymers: Solutions to Global Warming

Authors: 
Wool, R. P., University of Delaware


As a viable solution to global warming, bio-based materials are being designed to support the green renewable energy infrastructure with wind turbines, solar integrated energy efficient housing, hydro turbines and hydrogen storage. Recent advances in genetic engineering, composite science, and natural fiber development offer significant opportunities for new, improved green materials from renewable resources that are optionally recyclable, biocompatible and biodegradable, thereby enhancing global sustainability. When such biobased resins are combined with natural fibers (plant and poultry) starch and lignin, new low-cost composites, pressure sensitive adhesives, elastomers and foams are produced that are economical in many high-volume applications. The Twinkling Fractal Theory of the Glass Transition and Yield and the Percolation Theory of Fracture and polymer melt rheology are used to optimize the molecular design and properties of new bio-based materials. These high performance composites can be used in energy efficient solar integrated roofs, wind foil blades, hurricane resistant housing, sub-aqua hydro turbines and hydrogen storage, in addition to agricultural equipment, automotive sheet molding compounds, civil and rail infrastructures, marine applications, electronic materials, and sports equipment. The development of biobased materials is consistent with the principles of Green Chemistry and Engineering, which pertain to the design, commercialization and use of processes and products that are technically and economically feasible while minimizing the generation of pollution at the source and the risk to human health and the environment.