Patent-pending glue formulations developed at Purdue University from fully sustainable, bio-based components establish bonds that grow stronger when underwater.

  • Researchers at Purdue University have developed a glue made from zein (a protein found in corn) and tannic acid.
  • Tannic acid is a plant-based polyphenol that may add cohesive strength to polymer networks. So, it brings about adhesive properties that the zein polymer, by itself, does not have. Commercial tannic acid is extracted predominantly from gall nuts, Caesalpinia spinosa and sumac leaves, Rhus coriaria.
  • Furthermore, due to its ability to work underwater, there is also a hope that the glue could be used to repair coral reefs. In order to do this, the researchers would plan to plant new coral reefs on structures that have died. This plan is currently with the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) where it is being tested, to see if this is possible.

The glue is easy to make, so we would be able to be make it both in the lab and outdoors. This is an extra advantage to this versatile and excellent breakthrough.

The market for biobased glues is predicted to expand rapidly (at a CAGR of 4%), per the source, because of

  • The growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly products,
  • The strict laws governing conventional adhesives, and
  • The advancements in bio-based material technology.

Further companies developing bio-based adhesives include:

  • Henkel AG & Co. KGaA: A German company that produces a range of bio-based adhesives for packaging, labelling, woodworking, and construction.
  • Arkema Group: A French company that offers bio-based adhesives derived from natural polymers, such as starch, cellulose, and proteins.
  • H.B. Fuller: An American company that develops bio-based adhesives for the hygiene, medical, and personal care market.
  • 3M Company: An American company that manufactures bio-based adhesives for the automotive, aerospace, and industrial sectors.

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