Cornell University

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Polymers for Advanced Applications: from Controlled Chemistry to Unique Properties

Friday, October 8, 2021 at 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Virtual Event


The exponential growth of the worldwide population requires increasing amounts of water, food, and energy; for this reason, technological solutions are needed to secure sustainable supplied.

During this talk, I will discuss how the polymer industry is currently facing challenges in direct response to this reality and how researchers and scientists can respond by developing sustainable engineering products, designing energy-efficient processes, and developing an efficient supply chain and enterprise.

I will organize my talk into two sections. In the first one, I will emphasize the current challenges in the industry and a few sustainable technological solutions that are becoming relevant. During the second part of my talk, I will discuss several sustainable products and technologies developed at Auburn University. Some of the topics that I will cover are:

New opportunities in the bioenergy arena to produce sustainable chemicals and fibers

Wood biomass, particularly lignin, is one of the most promising bio-based resources of raw materials due to its abundance. Through fast pyrolysis as a thermochemical conversion process, it can be transformed into a utilizable liquid fraction called fast pyrolysis bio-oil. Several attempts have been made to polymerize fast pyrolysis bio-oil. My current research is focused on developing polymeric networks from fast pyrolysis bio-oil, and lignin-derived polymers.

Engineered hydrogel networks for use in tissue engineering and drug delivery.

Hydrogels are crosslinked polymers that can reversibly absorb and release large amounts of water. Current hydrogel research is primarily focused on developing this technology for medical applications such as 3D printing artificial human tissue and controlled drug release fibers and coatings. Thus, the primary purpose of this project is to engineer hydrogel networks that are biocompatible, mechanically strong, electrically conductive, and porous, and superabsorbent

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College of Human Ecology, Human Ecology Fiber Science and Apparel Design

University Themes


Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Karen Steffy

Contact Phone



Maria L. Auad, PhD

Speaker Affiliation

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Faculty Development Director Professor, Center for Polymers and Advanced Composites (CPAC), Auburn University

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