Professor, Physical Chemistry
Carbohydrate material is more plentiful in the biosphere than all other organic matter combined, and polysaccharides like starch, cellulose, chitin, agar, carrageenan,and pectin are gaining attention as renewable feedstocks for biodegradable plastics materials. Our research is directed at characterizing the interactions between starch and lignin in starch-kraft lignin-glycerol thermoplastic blends. Starch and lignin are two abundant agricultural feedstocks that could provide a large sustainable source of biodegradable plastics materials, but such applications require improving their materials performance through a better understanding of their interactions. We hypothesize that the chemical and physical properties of the components can be manipulated in order to optimize starch-lignin compatibilization, leading to applications such as biodegradable plastic film and foam for packaging and other applications.
Last Updated: 9/6/12