DISCOVERY COULD TRANSFORM INDUSTRIES

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

April 24, 2017

Modern society’s extensive use of fossil fuels has led to unprecedented atmospheric carbon dioxide levels with widespread climate impacts.

Synthetic rubber and plastics – used for manufacturing tires, toys and myriad other products – are produced from butadiene, a molecule traditionally made from petroleum or natural gas. But those manmade materials could get a lot greener soon, thanks to the ingenuity of a team of scientists from three U.S. research universities.

The scientific team –- from the University of Delaware, the University of Minnesota and the University of Massachusetts – has invented a process to make butadiene from renewable sources like trees, grasses and corn.

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APRIL 14: LEARN ABOUT NIIMBL, RAPID

Presentation set on NIIMBL and Rapid USA Manufacturing Institutes

March 17, 2017

A public presentation on NIIMBL and RAPID, two USA Manufacturing Institutes in which the University of Delaware is playing key roles, will be held at 4 p.m., Friday, April 14, in the Trabant University Center Theater. All are welcome to attend.

Kelvin Lee, director of the new National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), will talk about this collaboration involving more than 150 companies, educational institutions, nonprofits and state governments, and supported by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), to advance U.S. leadership in the development and manufacture of prescription medicines from living cells.

UD is a partner in a second manufacturing institute — Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) — led by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and involving more than 130 partners from industry, academia, government and nonprofits to advance clean energy manufacturing.

Dion Vlachos is leading a major node of RAPID focused on chemical catalysis and reactors, with the aim to achieve more energy efficient, lower-cost chemical manufacturing processes and technologies. Vlachos is the Allan and Myra Ferguson Chair of Chemical Engineering at UD.

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FROM CARBON DIOXIDE TO FUEL

The University of Delaware’s Feng Jiao (center) has received funding to study production of alcohols from carbon dioxide flue gas.

UD’s Feng Jiao wins DOE funding to produce alcohols from CO2 flue gas

February 23, 2017

Modern society’s extensive use of fossil fuels has led to unprecedented atmospheric carbon dioxide levels with widespread climate impacts.

Carbon dioxide capture and sequestration is one of the technologies under investigation to mitigate CO2 emissions associated with coal-fired power plants.

However, according to the University of Delaware’s Feng Jiao, large-scale CO2 sequestration poses risks to the environment from leakage. Other disadvantages include limited efficient geological repositories and high transportation and compression costs.

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