Seed Grants from the CSP

tree canopy smThrough the CSP Seed Grant program, proposals from University of Minnesota, Cornell University, and University of California-Berkeley faculty relevant to the science and engineering of sustainable polymers are solicited. Relevant topics include, but are not limited to, renewable monomer development, polymer recycling, biodegradation of polymers, polymerization catalysis, non-toxic polymeric materials, enzymatic polymerizations, and the structure and properties of cellulosic and other biobased materials. Collaborative efforts between two (or more) faculty investigators are encouraged but not required.

Please contact if you have any questions about possible project areas and for information about the next seed grant competition.

2015-16 Seed Grant Recipeints:

DauenhauerProfessor Paul Dauenhauer from the UMN Department of Chemical Enginnering and Materials Science was funded for his project, "Hybrid Process for Biorenewable Isoprene, Butadiene, and Styrene." In this work, Professor Dauenhauer will pursue a fundamental understanding of the role of cascade catalytic reactions in reducing carboxylic acid groups to alcohols, hydrogentation of C=C π-bonds, and dehydration of hydroxyl functional groups.


ForsProfessor Brett Fors from the Cornell University Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology wsa funded for his project, "A Divergent Approach to an Array of Polymers from Itaconic Acid." Itaconic acid is a 100% biorenewable feedstock produced at low cost that can provide access to a diverse set of polymers. In this project, Professor Fors will rely on decarboxylation chemistry to form new sustainable polymers from this valuable feedstock.

Previous Seed Grant Recipeints:

Kechun ZhangYiannis Kaznessis Professors Kechun Zhang and Yiannis Kaznessis in the UMN Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science were funded for their project “Engineering Biosynthetic Pathways for Sustainable Production of Novel Polymer Monomers”. In their research these faculty address the great challenge of developing a biosynthetic approach to producing branched (ω-1)hydroxyacids.


Claudia Schmidt-DannertMark Distefano,​Professor Claudia Schmidt-Dannert, UMN Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics, and Professor Mark Distefano, UMN Department of Chemistry, were funded to support their project “Engineering of Natural Rubber Biosynthesis”. This project focused on latex producing mushroom species to develop a microbial and biacatalytic in vitro production system for rubber.