AKRON, OHIO — The National Science Foundation has awarded $800,000 to University of Akron researcher Judit E. Puskas for her project to create a halogen-free synthetic rubber made from renewable resources.
Puskas has raised $1.6 million for her project, with contributors including the NSF, the Breast Cancer Foundation and the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society, according to a University of Akron press release.
“This funding will help push these new, eco-friendly materials to market,” Puskas said in the release. “The potential economic impact is significant as the research develops into commercial products.”
If successful, Puskas' research project will result in a new material that will reduce the carbon footprint of the SR manufacturing process and produce improved, cost-effective thermoplastic biocompatible rubber, according to the university. Potential applications include tire components, pharmaceutical stoppers and biomaterials.
The halogen-free materials are based on the Allomatrix technology developed at the University of Akron and tested by the NSF Center for Tire Research, a cooperative program between the University of Akron and Virginia Tech, the University of Akron said.
Puskas holds the Joseph M. Gingo Chair in Chemical Engineering at the University of Akron.