Biobased Functional Resins and Thermoset Materials with Excellent Mechanical Properties (RFT-314)

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Invention Summary

The use of bio-based products is not new. Industrial leaders from the past (George Washington Carver, Henry Ford) promoted the use of agricultural products in manufacturing. Historically, however, petroleum-based chemicals proved less expensive to produce, and bio-based feedstocks were not advanced. With the skyrocketing cost of oil, however, and with the world’s dependence on non-renewable resources and growing environmental concerns, bio-based components are becoming very attractive.

The technologies included in this portfolio lead to the production of bio-based chemical feedstocks that yield high performance bio-based thermoset materials (materials that strengthen when heat is applied). All of these high-functioning bio-based thermosets have been tested and show excellent hardness, solvent resistance, and gloss, as well as higher degrees of crosslinking and higher glass transition temperatures than currently available bio-based technologies with properties comparable to petrochemical-based materials.

Due to the variety of crosslinking chemistries (methods for linking polymer chains) and the ability to “tune” these systems, these materials have potential in a number of applications in the fields of coatings, adhesives, composites, and inks.

GREEN TECHNOLOGY! Existing manufacturers of chemical feedstocks, composites, coatings/paints, and adhesives will be interested in the availability of these bio-based feedstocks as demand for clean technology increases.


This portfolio of technologies overcomes some of the challenges in current approaches to bio-based materials, especially those based on vegetable oils, where soft and rubbery materials are usually obtained.  In contrast to these other approaches, these technologies result in high-hardness, high-modulus materials with high bio-based content. Properties evaluated to date show that the materials are comparable to high-performance petrochemical-based materials, which is a current market demand. The synthesis of the resins in the technology makes use of commercially available raw materials and reagents, and involves processes currently practiced in the industry. 

Value Proposition

Because this NDSU portfolio of technologies addresses and overcomes serious limitations in mechanical properties seen in previous bio-based material offerings, the number of products made and offered based on the technologies will grow.  As demand for additional bio-based content grows worldwide, sales of the product will increase, and cost of producing the product will drop, creating a cycle characterized by a steadily growing market pull. Early adopters stand to capitalize on a potentially large market demand.

Issued Patents

US Patent No. 9,096,773 "Highly Functional Epoxidized Resins and Coatings"


Henry Nowak, Technology Manager

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