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May 17, 2019

BETO Announces New Biobased Adhesive Material

Lynn L Bergeson

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced that scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed a new, plant-derived, stretchy material that outperforms the adhesiveness of the natural chemical that gives mussels the ability to stick to rocks and ships. Composed of lignin and epoxy, the biobased material has the ability to self-heal and elongate up to 2,000 percent. Researchers at ORNL developed a method to extract a specific form of lignin, which results in a molecular structure that is very sticky and elastic. The new biobased lignin shows promise of industrial use, including hydrogels, glues, and coatings.