National Harbor, Maryland – Huntsman has donated its stand at the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) annual Polyurethanes Technical Conference to representatives from the University of Delaware.
The company donated its exhibition space to the Center for Plastics Innovation, a department of the university that seeks to tackle the challenge of polymer plastic waste. Supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Center for Plastics Innovation is developing multi-disciplinary plastics deconstruction and upcycling strategies. Its ambition is to create a data- and systems-driven approach that will facilitate the development of new polymers that will have a more environmentally benign pathway at the end of their life.
While the Center is devoted to challenging all plastic waste, of particular interest to the PU industry, is its research into non-isocayanate polyurethanes (NIPUs). Sampanna Mhatre, one of the research team on the project, explained the University's work in using lignin sourced from waste paper pulp to create isocyanate-free TPU and thermoset PU.
David Cranfill, technology and innovation director at Huntsman, said: “Last year we took home the CPI 2021 Polyurethane Innovation Award for our work with Pursell Agri-Tech on PurActive – a PU-based, controlled-release fertiliser coating. This year, we wanted to support a university [near] the host city of the CPI Technical Conference and expose students to the global challenges the PU industry is addressing today. The Center for Plastics Innovation was an obvious choice due to the great work they are doing within the plastics industry. Running in parallel to the existing sustainability efforts of individual companies like Huntsman, its efforts will encourage cross-industry collaboration and the creation of more polymers that can be easily upcycled and saved from landfills and our oceans.”
Professor LaShanda Korley, director, Center for Plastics Innovation, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Huntsman for sharing its CPI stand space with us. In developing a sustainable future in plastics, we’re conscious of the need to balance demand for lightweight resilient materials, with combating the environmental threats posed by plastic waste. The polyurethanes sector is making strides towards a circular, low carbon economy with companies, like Huntsman, recognizing the role they must play in creating a better future. With many CPI members already on their own sustainability journeys, we look forward to the opportunity to discuss current changes, align future goals, and consider what we can achieve by working together.”