Epoxy Resin Thermosets Derived from Vanillin (RFT-487)

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Invention Summary


Thermosetting polymers and composites are widely used in industry due to their low density, good mechanical properties, low cost, and dimensional stability. However, most resins are synthesized primarily using petroleum-based chemicals. Researchers at NDSU have developed vanillin-based epoxy resins synthesized from the reaction between vanillin and diamines to form a Schiff base (I), which is then glycidated to form an epoxy resin (II). The resin may then be crosslinked using amines to form a thermoset coating (the example showing reaction with a diamine that leads to a crosslinked coating). Vanillin from any source may be used, including from lignin, which could expand the opportunity for value-added uses of lignin.


  • Low-cost bio-based resin
  • Do not contain bisphenol-A
  • Provides another use for a waste product
  • Applications in coatings, composites, and adhesives


The technology includes a vanillin-derived Schiff base, which may be glycidated to create a bio-based epoxy resin. An amine is then used to crosslink the resin to produce a cured coating or similar product.


This technology is patent pending with fully preserved PCT patent rights and is available for licensing/partnering opportunities.


Henry Nowak, Technology Manager

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