"Environment" research area

Biological Remediation of Adhesives

Primary Investigator - Steve SevertsonPrimary InvestigatorSteve Severtson
Co-InvestigatorsJiwei Zhang
Industry PartnersH.B. Fuller Company
Award Type: Seed Grant - Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Problem: Compostability without sacrificing functionality is the requirement for the next generation of disposable adhesive products. Although sustainability considerations now play a major role in new adhesive designs, resources and guidance for companies looking to develop more sustainable commercial products are mostly absent. 

Solution: The research proposed herein aims to identify technology and approaches to close the life-cycle loop on PSA, PS labels, and other related consumer products. The project emphasizes water based PSA, which accounts for most of the disposable PSA market. We will work with industrial partners to integrate PSA product design and fungal degradation to enable the engineering of the entire life cycle of pressure-sensitive (PS) products. 

Impact: A number of Minnesota companies produce, coat or use PSA. It is a product whose market steadily increases 5% annually and is expected grow to nearly 13 billion dollars by 2025. This growth is due in large part to the expanding use of labels for applications such as mailing and shipping. In 2021, the United States will manufacture about 20 billion square meters of PS label products worth more than 15 billion dollars and containing more than 300 million dry pounds of PSA. Such products are manufactured, converted, sold, and, ultimately, discarded. The research proposed herein aims to identify technology and approaches to close the life-cycle loop on PSA, PS labels, and other related consumer products.