Engineering new materials from plants, using advanced materials and manufacturing methods | Rowan Today

The U.S. armed service demands lighter, more robust materials it can speedily and simply produce anywhere on the world. And it also requirements sustainable products to maintain that earth habitable for humanity. 

As director of Rowan University’s Highly developed Components & Production Institute (AMMI), Dr. Joe Stanzione is in a situation to enable.

Joe Stanzione, Ph.D.

Chemical engineer

Areas of skills: Polymers and composites additive manufacturing inexperienced chemistry and engineering

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Correct now, a whole lot of the plastic composites utilised by the army, as properly as by us in basic, for several programs are petroleum-dependent, Stanzione explained. That poses a several problems: dependency on oil, including international oil detrimental impacts on the environment and overreliance on constrained methods. 

“Fossil fuels are not staying created as speedily as we’re consuming them,” Stanzione reported. “But if we could use a portion of all of the Earth’s plant matter that is created on an annual foundation as sustainable plastic composites, we could exchange element, if not all, of the petroleum-derived resources made—and probably give back to the natural environment.”

There could be other gains, as properly. Most plant-based chemical compounds are inherently safer for people and the environment than some poisonous chemicals now employed to make plastic composites. That suggests, there could be substantial expense discounts for the authorities, in particular in producing and processing and in human well being and environmental protection.  

As a portion of AMMI’s State-of-the-art Composites and Sustainability Initiatives, Stanzione and the AMMI group are also working to increase processes: working with 3D-printing to quickly make superior elements bettering cold-spray technologies to make repairs or to reinforce current elements and a technique of creating plastics from bark harvested from birch trees—without killing the trees. View online video listed here. 

At their main, chemical engineers are normally considering about efficiency and “how we can make guaranteed our processes and the feedstocks that go into them are sustainable in the very long phrase,” Stanzione explained. “Now, we’re making use of that considering to accomplishing superior at working with our all-natural methods and appreciably decreasing our environmental affect on the earth whilst increasing lifetime for all.” 

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