Plantics: Plastics Made From Plants

events hall

Prof. Gadi Rothenberg


David Wang Auditorium, 3rd floor Dalia Meidan Bldg.


How often is it that you invent something that can truly change people’s lives and make the world a better place? I’ve been researching catalyst discovery and development for bulk chemicals and sustainable energy for 20 years, and I found quite a few nice things, but nothing truly spectacular. And then, in March 2010, Albert and I discovered by accident a new type of amazing resin made from 100% plant-based materials. It would be nice to say that this involved years of study and preparation, but in fact, we were simply very lucky.

This new plastic is non-toxic, non-hazardous, and cheap enough to replace phenol-formaldehyde resins, polyurethanes and in some cases polypropylene and PET. Especially in the composite applications, we’re finding a host of new and exciting things. In the lecture, I will tell you how we discovered this plastic, and discuss the pros and cons of making chemicals and polymers from biomass.

Host: Asst. Prof. Joshua M. Grolman