Sustainable Design of Polymers and Polymer Composites from Xylochemicals
Symposium Organizers: Joseph F. Stanzione, III, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, Rowan University; John J. La Scala, Ph.D., Associate for Science & Technology, Weapons & Materials Research Directorate, Department of the Army, U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Polymers and polymer composites are utilized ubiquitously in today’s society for a wide variety of applications. Unfortunately, most of our polymers and polymer composites are derived from non-renewable resources, namely petroleum. However, over the past two decades, the green chemistry and engineering scientific community, including those in government, academia, and in the private sector, has made significant strides in fundamentally understanding, designing, developing, and commercializing chemicals and materials from renewable resources.
In order to increase this momentum and aid our society in transforming itself from a largely petroleum-based, linear economy to a renewable-based, circular economy, both industrial and satellite second-generation lignocellulosic biorefineries have been envisioned and are slowly becoming active. Both biofuels and bio-based chemicals are being generated and sold from these plants, which largely depend on agricultural waste and/or agriculturally grown food as their primary renewable-based feedstocks.
Fortunately, much research is currently being conducted in the design and development of lignocellulosic biorefineries that utilize woody-biomass as the primary renewable-based feedstock. Sustainably harvested trees, green processes, and wood-based fuels and wood-derived building blocks (xylochemicals) for materials are the focus of these industrially, socially, and economically transformative facilities. Thus, the sustainable design of polymers and polymer composites from xylochemicals is imperative to advancing our society while significantly reducing our environmental impact and carbon footprint. This session will focus on highlighting our progress toward this endeavor, on identifying major hurdles and obstacles that must be overcome, and will contain presentations from leading experts in the field.