CREST
 Center of Excellence in Nanobiomaterials derived from Biorenewable and Waste Resources


Summary

The 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.