Center of Excellence in Nanobiomaterials derived
from Biorenewable and Waste Resources
research focus areas of this center are : (a) synthesis of plant based nanofibers
through electrospinning and forcespinning™ methods; (b) production of bacterial
cellulose fibers from soy waste products; (c)
synthesis of nanoparticles from biodegradable sources such as egg shells
and their use as nano-fillers in advanced composites; (d) synthesis of
biopolymers; (e) development and characterization of advanced green
nanocomposites using these materials with natural fibers; and (f) product
design, prototyping and commercial feasibility studies. These efforts are
carried out through three subprojects; 1) Synthesis and characterization of
nanobiomaterials, 2) Synthesis
and characterization of biopolymers and nanobiocomposites, and 3) Processing,
performance evaluation and technology transition of green nanobiocomposites to
products. The materials so developed will provide an alternative to the
current generation of high performance ‘advanced’ composites materials which use
thermoset polymers and man-made fibers like glass, carbon and Kevlar®.
Further, these polymers are derived from petroleum, an expensive and scarce
commodity, and composites are not biodegradable. Collaborators from within the
USA include Auburn University (AU), Cornell University (CU), the University of
Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and several industry and national laboratories.
International collaboration is built upon the existing relationships with researchers
from Brazil and India.