Sita can direct this new technology using a single catalyst to prepare a wide variety of end-products that include oils, adhesives, coatings, films, fibers, rubber, and both rigid and flexible plastics without having to rely on chemical additives or other blending agents to impart the range of physical properties accessible.
"The traditional paradigm for developing new plastic grades is to use a trial-and-error approach, which might involve taking thousands of catalysts and screening them in the hopes that you find one to make a specific grade of PE- or PP-based plastic," Sita explains. That process can take years.
"If you tell me you need adhesives with a specific set of characteristics, we can generate ten different materials around these target parameters within a couple of days--without having to go back to the drawing board each time," says Sita.
Plastics with potentially dangerous additives have been banned in 41 countries, as well as in California, leaving a gap for new products. Sita hopes to fill that void by launching a company around his technology, which he would license from the University of Maryland.
Sita's work is funded by over $1 million in grant funds from the National Science Foundation and $50,000 from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). W.R. Grace also supported a graduate student intern to study potential the commercial viability of his catalyst technology in a close partnership with Sita and the University of Maryland.
Sita's mentors have included 2005 Nobel Prize Winners Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock, from the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively.
Judges for the Best Inventor Pitch included: Joe Del Guercio, managing
director for CNF Investments; Mark Frantz, General Partner for RedShift
Ventures; Christine Copple, president and CEO of Starise Ventures; George
|SOURCE Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute|
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved