Creating new geostructural polymers
Dr. Amod Ogale, Professor of Chemical Engineering, is investigating ways to create new geostructural polymers from animal co-products. His team has been successful in creating a variety of new plastics using melt-processing to extrude and mold feather meal into sheets.
The group has studied the use of plasticizer agents such as glycerol as softening agents. The preliminary results of their study indicate that large geostructural sheets of plastics may be made. Potential uses for such materials could include reinforcements for temporary roads or erosion control fencing for construction projects.
This biodegradable sheet material allows water to permeate through reinforcement materials. Upon biodegradation, the materials would yield simply fertilizing materials. This project could yield a new market for millions of tons of rendered proteins as high value polymer precursors.