Courses offered by ACRES group recently:
Bio-based Materials (Fall)
The conversion of biomass to useful materials such as polymers and composites has considerable economic and environmental value, particularly in times of global warming and diminishing petroleum oil reserves. This class provides considerable detail on the chemistry, physics and engineering development of plastics, adhesives, composites, foams, elastomers and coatings from plant co-products such as oils, starch, proteins, lignin, and cellulose. Recent advances in genetic engineering, composite science, and natural fiber development offer significant opportunities for new, improved green materials from renewable resources that are optionally recyclable, biocompatible and biodegradable, thereby enhancing global sustainability. The development of biobased materials is consistent with the principles of Green Chemistry and Engineering, which pertain to the design, commercialization and use of processes and products that are technically and economically feasible while minimizing the generation of pollution at the source and the risk to human health and the environment.
This class appeals to a broad range of students in several fields, including chemical engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, materials science, engineering, agriculture and biotechnology related disciplines. By selecting the fatty acid distribution function of plant oils, and the amino acid sequence of proteins, we show how the molecular connectivity can be controlled through chemical functionalization to produce linear, branched, or cross-linked polymers with useful thermal and mechanical properties. These biobased (Green) materials can be used as adhesives, foams, films, rigid or flexible plastics, coatings, elastomers, rubbers, composite resins, carbon nanotubes dispersants and nanoclay exfoliants. When such biobased resins are combined with natural fibers (plant and poultry) starch and lignin, new low-cost composites are produced that are economical in many new high-volume applications such as hurricane resistant roofs.
Green Engineering (Spring)
"Green engineering is the design, commercialization, and use of processes and products, which are feasible and economical while minimizing generation of pollution at the source and risk to human health and the environment. The discipline embraces the concept that decisions to protect human health and the environment can have the greatest impact and cost effectiveness when applied early to the design and development phase of a process or product." (EPA, 2003).
Green Engineering transforms existing engineering disciplines and practices to those that promote sustainability. Green Engineering incorporates development and implementation of technologically and economically viable products, processes, and systems that promote human welfare while protecting human health and elevating the protection of the biosphere as a criterion in engineering solutions.
Introduction to Polymer Science and Engineering(2006 Fall)
Introduction to polymer physics with emphasis on structure-property models for bulk polymers, viscoelasticity, polymer morphology, crystallization and crystallization kinetics, effects of processing on bulk polymers and structure-property correlations for bulk polymers.