University of Delaware OEIP
University of Delaware

Lignin-Based Pressure Sensitive Adhesives

Technology #ud18-23

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Shu Wang, Ph.D.
Thomas Epps, Ph.D.
The primary focus of the Epps laboratory lies in designing, building, and characterizing new polymeric materials exhibiting molecular level self-assembly. Several applications for block copolymers and polymer blends under investigation in our group include: battery and fuel cell membranes, organic photovoltaics, analytical separations membranes, nanoscale containers and scaffolds for targeted drug delivery, precursors to electronic arrays, and surface responsive materials.
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Basudeb Saha, Ph.D.
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Li Shuai
Dionisios G Vlachos
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Johnson Will
Business Development Specialist 3028314794
Patent Protection

Provisional Patent Application Filed


This is a potential new product that has the potential to replace petroleum-based pressure sensitive adhesives with superior lignin derived components.

Problems Addressed: 

Creating pressure sensitive adhesives from materials that are derived directly from petroleum analogues is a process with numerous purification methods and polymerization steps. Polymerization is a process in which a chemical chain of two or more of the same molecule is put together. This process can be extensive and tedious to produce these petroleum based adhesive materials. Prior production of bio-based pressure sensitive adhesives used petroleum analogues instead of real lignin derived materials. Petroleum analogues have extremely inferior material and chemical properties of strength when compared to real lignin-derived materials. This new lignin based polymer has the potential to eliminate these problems.


·  Superior adhesive properties when compared to petroleum analogues
·  Minimal purification steps when generating pressure sensitive adhesives
·  Minimal polymerization steps when generating pressure sensitive adhesives
·  More physically and chemically superior to petroleum analogues

Technology Description: 

Lignin is a renewable resource that can be easily accessed and used as an alternative to petroleum feedstocks. De-polymerization of lignocellulosic biomass generates phenols with high purity through extraction. Lignin monomers can be polymerized by attaching (meth)-acrylate groups. These polymers produced have extremely high glass transition temperatures. The polymer made up of the lignin derived component and an alkyl acrylate component has tremendously high adhesive properties when compared to petroleum based adhesive materials.