Wolfgang Glasser receives ACS award for wood chemistry, bio-based composites research

(Blacksburg, Va., June 20, 2001) -- For his lifetime of research accomplishments dealing with the structure, properties, and use of wood-derived polymers, the American Chemical Societys Division of Cellulose, Paper, and Textiles has honored Wolfgang Glasser, professor of wood science at Virginia Tech, with the Anselme Payen Award.

The recognition is the top international award for outstanding work in the field of cellulose. The distinction included a $3,000 honorarium and the opportunity for Glasser to give the major research address to his colleagues at a special symposium in San Diego this spring.

Glasser has explored lignin structure, structure-property relationships of lignin-based polymers, the chemistry of biomass processed by steam explosion, cellulose and cellulose derivatives, xylan, chitin, and cellulose-based composites. He points out that the hierarchical structures found in biological materials can guide the development of synthetic polymers.

At Virginia Tech, Glasser established the Biobased Materials Center as a Technology Development Center of Virginias Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), and he participates in the work of the Wood-Based Composites Center as a researcher and member of the steering committee.

Biobased materials are defined as products other than food or feed that use biological, renewable agricultural or forestry materials. Concerns over rising carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions, general environmental quality, and growing dependence on fossil resources have heightened industrial interest in technologies that use biobased (renewable) resources.

With the help of the CIT, Virginia Tech established a pilot facility to demonstrate the conversion of carbohydrate-rich residues from agricultural and forest products, including waste paper, into fibers and chemicals. Fibers are useful sources for structural board products, and plant-based chemicals have been transformed into biodegradable plastics and resins. The res

Contact: Wolfgang Glasser
Virginia Tech

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