A Green and Unique Thermosetting-Thermoplastic PolycarbonateEPA Contract Number: EPD17037
Title: A Green and Unique Thermosetting-Thermoplastic Polycarbonate
Investigators: Cameron, Randy E.
Small Business: Instrumental Polymer Technologies, LLC
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: September 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018
Project Amount: $99,990
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2017) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Manufacturing
Of the 300 million tons of plastic produced per year most will take over 100 years to biodegrade. Though there is a growing ability to recycle thermoplastic, there is a 3.7% annual growth in the 50 million tons of thermoset plastic which can't be recycled.
This project will develop a completely sustainable aliphatic polycarbonate plastic that is uniquely a recyclable thermoset resin. It has the processability of a thermoplastic, but the structural integrity, chemical resistance and adhesion of a thermoset. When heated over 120°C, the tough, crosslinked polymer network fragments into a low viscosity liquid. But this process is reversible. Upon cooling the material once again crosslinks within 6 hours. Such a product will revolutionize the thermoset plastic market that usually has to heat cure their parts. We have already received interest from companies who produce truck bed liners, rail car liners, bowling balls and polyurethane wheels.
Ultimately, because of its high performance, this material will also displace much of the larger thermoplastics market. Because of its unique structure, this product will biodegrade faster than other plastics or even commercial polycarbonate. And the biodegredation products are safe for the environment.