Written by Mruganka Parasnis
Liesl Schindler, Trillium
Sustainable Manufacturing of Acrylonitrile
Trillium Renewable Chemicals is scaling up a sustainable alternative to acrylamide. Acrylonitrile has been used in aerospace, Legos, and automobile industries and this will benefit the consumers and government. Glycerol, the starting product can undergo dehydration and ammoxidation to acetonitrile which is a biobased alternative and can be commercialized. A lab-scale synthesis is performed, and it will scale to a pilot scale testing which will be optimized and conducted further. It will then be validated and processed and used for applications in various industries. The final stage is still in progress where the market deployment is to be continued for multiple applications until 2026 to provide customers volumes of samples. The alternative can produce low carbon footprint acrylonitrile product.
Adnan Memic, King AbdulAziz University
Lignin/PBS Filaments for 3D Fused Deposition Modeling of Medical Orthoses
Cutting-edge technology is the need of the hour to solve many challenges in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry. It can be overcome through 3D printing. Combining 3D printing with nanotechnology can be used to develop new materials and engineer unique properties for reconstructing bone, controlled drug delivery, and injectable biomaterials. Adnan Memic reported that the 3D printing method can have applications in fabricating bracing materials. It was combined with lignin that is the second most abundant biomaterial. Lignin PBS was tested for its rheological and mechanical properties using a custom-built extrusion instrument. Parameters such as temperature and speed were optimized to produce a film of desired diameter. The concentration of lignin was optimized for producing a smooth film observed through SEM. Studies were conducted to coat nanomaterials on lignin PBS, acting as an antioxidant and an antibacterial agent that can eliminate body odors when placed on body. The next step of this study is the durability and biodegradability testing of the film.
David Zamora Cisneros, McGill University
Mussel Byssus as a Green Fiber Manufacturing Platform
Taking inspiration from nature’s manufacturing processes, an attempt was made to mimic mussel byssus (a thread fabricated by marine mussels) as a sustainable functional method. David Zamora Cisneros reported that collagen obtained from mussel byssus has a self-assembly, self-healing, and enhanced mechanical properties. The objectives were to study the stability of this material under thermodynamic driving force, attain vesicle-vesicle interactions and fiber formation under flow conditions. Studies were conducted to characterize the free energy landscape using parametrization in terms of order parameters and was used to describe smectic LCs. Classical curvatures such as gaussian and mean and new soft matter geometric methods were applied to the energy landscape using quenching regimes. Modelling was performed using the Landau-de Gennes model for Isotropic Smectic A phase transition. Mathematical tools such as level set curves, steepest descent, lines of curvature, and geodesics were used, and equations were used to predict the temperature changes using a phase diagram. Stability changes were observed as the temperature increased. Smectic was stable at most temperatures. Level- set curves helped to locate the possible states present. Steepest descent and stability criteria determined the tendency of the states to follow as the temperature was varied. Geodesics connecting the stable points were found to have a linear trend within the energy landscape framework.