A project aimed at developing polyurethane foam that can be recycled has won the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award competition held Dec. 3 at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment (IonE) in St. Paul. IonE is a Consortium member center that focuses on discovering solutions to Earth’s most pressing environmental problems through research, leadership development, and global partnerships; the $10,000 award recognizes and rewards students and universities for just that type of work. This year’s winning team consisted of four Ph.D. candidates in the University’s College of Science and Engineering. One of the members, Tessie Panthani, noted: “Polyurethane foams are useful and important materials that are utilized in a range of applications including mattresses, seat cushions and home insulation. Unfortunately, the majority of polyurethane foams are derived from nonrenewable resources, do not degrade in the environment, and have chemical structures that preclude these materials from being recycled by melt reprocessing.” The winning team also includes Alex Mannion, Debbie Schneiderman and Marie Vanderlaan.
Monday, December 14, 2015