Research is focused on using renewable oils such as soybean, corn, and linseed oils to create biobased polymers. Coatings, films, adhesives, plastics, and resins have been developed and tested.
These new polymers could be used in furniture, automobiles, electronics, fiber optics, and much more.
Project Highlight: Biobased Coatings with Antibacterial Properties
Michael Kessler, associate professor of materials science and engineering and Biopolymers & Biocomposites Research Team member, has teamed up with Byron Brehm-Stecher, associate professor of food science and human nutrition, and Richard Larock, distinguished professor emeritus of chemistry, to develop soybean oil-based coatings that have antibacterial properties.
Kessler's research team use soybean oil to create polymers that are biorenewable and prepared in an environmentally friendly manner without the use of volatile organic compounds. They incorporate cationic charges into the polymer structure to make the coatings antibacterial.
These coatings could have applications in many fields where the killing of pathogens or prevention of surface colonization is essential.