New Technique for Polymer Manufacturing with Reduced Solvents Aimed at Vehicle, Packaging Production
A team of Purdue University innovators hopes its new technology provides a more business-friendly option to utilize sustainable cellulose nanomaterials for use in vehicles, food packaging and other manufactured items.The Purdue team developed a new way for manufacturers to use nanocellulose – a green nanomaterial derived from natural sources such as plant matter. Normally to process nanocellulose, solvents or other dispersants are usually added to the mixture to improve the material’s dispersion in polymers. These methods can be very expensive for manufacturers. The Purdue innovators created a method that involves mixing the nanocellulose in additives for the polymer material, such as plasticizer, and then compounding that mixture into the polymer instead of directly mixing them. The main advantages are: Solvent-free compounding of nanocellulose into polymers and homogenous mixture of hydrophilic nanocellulose and a hydrophobic polymer. The innovators have worked with the Purdue Research FoundationOffice of Technology Commercialization to patent the technology.
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