Multidisciplinary Graduate Curriculum in Support of the Biobased Products Industry

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The project had a dominant education component. The project involved revising curriculum to educate traditional engineering students in the emerging field of industrial biotechnology. New classes were developed and offered. As a result, the curriculum of the Colorado School of Mines was expanded to include new content. Roughly 100 undergraduates and about 10 graduate students each year benefit from this curricular expansion. The research associated with this project consisted of developing new materials and energy sources from renewable resources. Several significant advances were made, most importantly the heat distortion temperature of polylactide (PLA) was increased through the addition of cellulosic ... continued below

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Dorgan, John R. September 30, 2005.

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Description

The project had a dominant education component. The project involved revising curriculum to educate traditional engineering students in the emerging field of industrial biotechnology. New classes were developed and offered. As a result, the curriculum of the Colorado School of Mines was expanded to include new content. Roughly 100 undergraduates and about 10 graduate students each year benefit from this curricular expansion. The research associated with this project consisted of developing new materials and energy sources from renewable resources. Several significant advances were made, most importantly the heat distortion temperature of polylactide (PLA) was increased through the addition of cellulosic nanowhiskers. The resulting ecobionanocomposites have superior properties which enable the use of renewable resource based plastics in a variety of new applications. Significant amounts of petroleum are thereby saved and considerable environmental benefits also result. The original project objectives had to be modified as a result of DOE funding cuts, the Biomass Program did not receive adequate funding to fully fund its selected projects. Nonetheless, effectiveness and economic feasibility of the project proved excellent. The educational activities are continuing in a sustainable fashion, now being supported by tuition revenues and the normal budgeting of the University. PI Dorgan taught one of the newly developed classes will in the Fall 2006, after the close of the DOE grant, and again repeatedly into the future. Now established, the curriculum in biobased products and energy will grow and evolve through regular teaching and revisions. On the research side, the new plastic materials appear economically feasible and a new collaboration between the PI’s group and Sealed Air, a major food-packaging manufacturer, has been established to bring the new green plastics to market. Public benefits of the project are noteworthy in many respects. These include the development of a better educated workforce and citizenry capable of providing technological innovation as a means of growing the economy and providing jobs. In particular, the educational components addressing the production of bioethanol, biodiesel, and bioplastics provide graduates that can assist American industries in including greater renewable content in feedstocks for materials and fuels. Finally, the collaboration fostered by this grant led to the drafting of a new book entitled, Bioengineering for Sustainability: Materials and Fuels for the 21st Century. This text will be widely available to the public interested in learning more about these important areas of technology.

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  • Report No.: FG36-01ID14008
  • Grant Number: FG36-01ID14008
  • DOI: 10.2172/899771 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 899771
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc886708

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • September 30, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 7:02 p.m.

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Dorgan, John R. Multidisciplinary Graduate Curriculum in Support of the Biobased Products Industry, report, September 30, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc886708/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.