Building materials

Greener Solutions 2020: PFAS in Aftermarket Carpet Treatments

The aftermarket carpet treatment team presented PFAS alternatives for aftermarket stain repellant treatments. Their proposed solutions included natural waxes and oils, biopolymers, and silicon-based materials, including silicon dioxide nanoparticles and silicon-containing small molecules and polymers. The team identified chitosan and cellulose nanocrystal as candidates for a biopolymer approach. The team noted the potential to combine multiple strategies to achieve optimal performance metrics....

Greener Solutions 2020: PFAS removal for carpet recycling

The carpet recycling group presented innovative strategies to remove PFAS from carpet face fiber fluff during recycling. The team provided strategies with a range of timescales to implementation. The first strategy involved using base hydrolysis and granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorption to remove but not destroy PFAS. The second strategy built on the first, but proposed using reverse osmosis and plasma treatment to destroy the PFAS. The third strategy proposed the use of esterase (specifically pig liver esterase) as an alternative to using sodium hydroxide in the other...

Greener Solutions 2018: Roofing materials with Oakland EcoBlock

Partnered with The Oakland EcoBlock, the roofing materials group searched for compounds to replace the UV protection HALS compounds that typically suffuse TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roofing membranes. Although HALS compounds are effective and regenerative (individual HALS molecules can undergo multiple antioxidant cycles), they are toxic and tend to leach out of the membrane, posing an environmental threat . This group investigated a strategy of coupling natural antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and poly-catechin to produce a...

Greener Solutions 2021: PFAS in Floor Polishes

This team examined potential alternatives to PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in floor polish, in response to recent legislation in Maine requiring the removal of PFAS from “avoidable” use in products sold in the state by 2030. Floor polish is under consideration as one possible product category since nearly every floor polish on the market contains PFAS. The team proposed two biosurfactants as potential alternatives to PFAS in floor polish: rhamnolipids and amino acid surfactants, specifically sodium lauroyl glutamate....