Academic Research Presentations

Tehareh (Neda) Hayeri

Eastern Michigan University

Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Systems, Exploring Curing Mechanism, and Sol-Gel Reactions

Abstract: This presentation will provide an introduction to Sol-Gel chemistry and technology, beginning with a comprehensive overview of traditional applications and curing methods. Additionally, the presentation will delve into recent advancements in this field. A detailed discussion on ultraviolet light-initiated sol-gel (UV-Sol-Gel) systems, besides covering a range of techniques capable of initiating sol-gel reactions. Finally, we will explore the potential application domains for Organic-Inorganic Hybrid coatings, discussing strategies for tailoring their properties to suit specific purposes.

Ayowale Soyemi

Eastern Michigan University

Bisphenol-A in Coatings and Industrial Applications: Balancing Benefits with Challenges

Abstract:  Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical compound that has become highly valuable across a wide range of industrial applications, with a notable focus on coatings. It holds a significant role as a plasticizer in polycarbonate and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate finds application in the manufacturing of food containers and packing items while epoxy resins are used as coatings on metal cans and bottle tops for food-related purposes. Due to its estrogenic effects, BPA has gained escalating interest among numerous researchers. This presentation embarks on a comprehensive examination of BPA’s pivotal role in coating and industrial processes, emphasizing both its undeniable benefits and the challenges it poses to human health and the environment.

Michael Friend

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Biodegradable Nanocomposites for Food Packaging Applications

Abstract: Biodegradable materials for food packaging applications have been gaining popularity due to their potential to reduce a major source of global pollution: single use plastics. However, use of biodegradable materials is still limited in food packaging due to insufficient properties for keeping foods fresh, as well as high material cost. Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) is a biodegradable, inexpensive, and food safe polymer. PVA is limited as a food packaging material due to its high-water permeability (i.e. hydrophilic properties). This research blended PVA with graphene oxide (GO) and cellulose nanofibers (CNF) to yield a nanocomposite that lowers PVA’s water permeability. This work characterizes water, as well as oil, permeability. Other important properties are investigated, including thermal and mechanical properties. The influence of residual water content and reduction of graphene oxide in samples is also examined. This study may provide insight into decreasing water permeability and tuning polymer properties using 2D (GO) and 1D (CNF) nanomaterials.

Zachariah Bess

Lysine-Based Ionic Liquid Polymerization Agent for Electrolyte Polymer Hosts

Zachariah Bess

Abstract: In our group, we are working to formulate fully bioderived/sustainable quasi-solid polymer electrolytes (QSPEs) that can be applied to capacitors or batteries. Our QSPE utilizes a polymer host that is prepared by epoxide ring opening, similar to epoxy resin preparation.  Our overall goal is to use bioderived precursors to build a sustainable QSPE. The focus of this project is to develop a bioderived polymerizing agent (PA) for the polymer host in the QSPE. Since diamines are commonly employed for epoxide-opening polymerizations, we have sought bioderived nucleophiles to replace petroleum-derived diamines in the polymerization process. Amino acids (AAs) contain the nucleophilic amine moiety needed for this kind of reaction.  Lysine is an AA with two primary amine groups that can be considered a diamine. Introduction of AAs has proved challenging, as they are not soluble in the polymerization mixture. However, their salts are soluble under certain conditions. AA salts in the form of ionic liquids (ILs) provide an opportunity to introduce a salt into a system in the liquid phase. We have successfully used the AA lysine in epoxide-opening polymerization of poly(ethylene glycol) diglycidyl ether (PEGDGE), when lysine is the anion in an IL formulated with choline bicarbonate, choline lysinate. The effect of the residual carbonate anion in the polymer host of electrolytes formed using choline lysinate as the PA has been explored through electrochemical, thermal, and mechanical analysis and comparison to the control PA 1,6-hexanediamine. Results of EIS (electrochemical impedance spectroscopy), and LSV (linear sweep voltammetry), DSC (differential scanning calorimetry),TGA (thermogravimetric analysis), and rheology experiments will be discussed.