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Tech Transfer Success Stories in Energy and the Environment

ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY REPLACEMENT FOR STYRENE

Dr. Giuseppe Palmese of Drexel University’s College of Engineering and his collaborators James Sands and John LaScala of the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) have developed a suite of bio-based styrene substitute compounds. Styrene has recently been classified as a “reasonably anticipated carcinogen” by the U.S. government, and is regulated by the US Department of Health and Human Services. The licensed styrene substitutes have performance properties similar to, or better than, commercial resins and emit 70% less hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds than styrene. Drexel and ARL have entered into an exclusive license with Dixie Chemical Company to commercialize the technology, and Dixie’s multi-year license agreement with Drexel and ARL gives the company international rights to intellectual property protecting the suite of compounds. The first product based on the technology was launched in January, 2012.