Activities

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Activities

The centre of excellence on sustainable polymer is focusing on utilization of biopolymers such as cellulose, chitosan, proteins, various protein grafted polysaccharides etc. for high performance product development. Further, under the umbrella of CoE, consortium of technical experts available at IIT Guwahati in the area of synthetic biodegradable polymers, biopolymers, bioprocess engineering, organic synthesis, catalysis, polymer synthesis, polymer processing, degradation, migration of toxic substances from processed polymers products, nanotechnology, process optimization and polymer modeling and simulation, will contribute to develop both bio-derived as well as petrochemical feedstock based novel and useful biodegradable polymers and their derivatives. It is noteworthy to mention that most of the petrochemical-based polymers typically degrade very slowly upon disposal, and do not meet sustainability and environmental safety criterion. Therefore, one of the tasks of the CoE would be to re-engineer some of the petrochemical based polymers in order to enhance their degradability. Migration of dispersed particles from polymer and its effect on the contact medium such as food will be studied, and necessary modifications to the polymer formulation will be made to ensure safe usage of the product in various applications. Further, electrospinning of metal-free PLA will be optimized for preparation of scaffold for tissue engineering applications. Detailed toxicity studies will be conducted on above product to ensure its safe and widespread usage in biomedical applications. In coordination with the local municipal authorities, innovative collection, segregation and cleaning strategies will be devised to increase recyclability of various conventional polymer products. Special emphasis will be laid on implementing effective recycling technology to produce useful products and chemicals. In line with the core theme of this proposal, sustainability can only be achieved if the developed polymer products can degrade in stipulated time. Hence, detailed biodegradation studies will be conducted. Hence, CoE-SusPol is aimed to develop industrially viable technology, advanced flowsheeting including process modeling, optimization and intensification will be performed to aid in the construction of pilot plant. In addition, various other activities related to polymers have been conceived by team members. The aforementioned activities of the proposed centre of excellence will contribute towards enhancement of environmental sustainability and aid in the progress of the polymer industry through cutting edge research and development. The primary objective of the CoE-SusPol is to establish state-of-the-art research facilities, and subsequently perform research targeted to develop cost effective and scalable technologies for the production of biodegradable polymer based end products by utilizing both petrochemical and renewable bio-feedstock.