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CSP researchers earn challenge grand prize for work on recyclable foams

Winners of the $10,000 Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award are four doctorate candidates (left to right) Tessie Panthani (Chemical Engineering and Materials Science), Debbie Schneiderman (Chemistry), Alex Mannion (Chemical Engineering and Materials Science), and Marie Vanderlaan (Chemistry). Photo courtesy of Brian Bell.

A team of students from the Center for Sustainable Polymers is the grand prize winner in the $10,000 Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA).

The CSP team of student researchers includes Alex Mannion, Tessie Panthani, Debbie Schneiderman, Marie Vanderlaan. Their project was titled, Sustainable and Recyclable Polyurethane Foams. “Using renewable feedstocks, we have developed mechanically tunable, chemically recyclable polyurethane foams and elastomers. These materials are more sustainable than conventional non-degradable petroleum-derived polyurethanes." Mannion and Panthani are from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, and Schneiderman and Vanderlaan are from the Department of Chemistry.

The University of Minnesota selected 10 finalists for the SISCA, which recognizes and rewards graduate student innovation and research on sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing social, economic and environmental problems.

Earlier this year, this team of CSP researchers won the BASF 150th Anniversary North American Science Competition—Lightweight Solutions for a Sustainable Future for this project on sustainable polyurethane foams.

Read the news release on the College of Science & Engineering website.

Read the news release on the IonE website.