Developing a Super Paper to Rival Plastics
The use of electronics in a technologically driven society has fostered a growing global dependence on plastic components. In 2010, about 191 million barrels of fossil fuels were used to make plastic products in the United States alone. While plastics are convenient for short-term use, their fabrication consumes limited natural resources. Plastics are unsustainable for long-term use, making it essential to minimize society’s dependence on them in order to protect environmental health.
Team Nature hopes to combat society's dependence on plastics by exploring the use of cellulose nanopaper (CNP) as a potential alternative. CNP is sourced from the same material as standard office paper, but it has demonstrated promise as a replacement for plastics in devices like solar cells and smartphone touchscreens because of its comparable properties to plastics. CNP is a much more sustainable option because cellulose is naturally abundant, biodegradable, versatile, and inexpensive. Under the guidance of Dr. Liangbing Hu of the University of Maryland Energy Research Center, Team Nature is researching methods of improving the properties of CNP so that the material may become more appealing as a mainstream alternative to plastics in electronic applications.
We Need YOUR Help:
To make this project successful, we need your help! We are seeking funding to obtain materials, chemicals, and lab space for our team to conduct research over the next year. Any donation will make an impact by helping us explore sustainable alternatives to plastic materials. Please help us reach our goal, and thank you so much!
We have estimated that it will cost about $6,000 to fund our project. A significant portion of our budget will be allocated towards helping the team purchase lab materials, conduct experiments, and pay for lab space and machine operations. In terms of equipment, we require glassware, Buchner funnels, flasks, glass, lab safety materials, chemicals, raw materials to make the papers, etc. Similarly, due to the nature of our project, we will be conducting several different treatments, which require different types of machines. For some of these, we have to pay to use them. In addition, we hope to travel to various conferences in the United States throughout the next two years so that we can learn more about CNP and paper applications as well as present our own findings to the industry. Costs add up pretty quickly and easily. We really need your support. Thank you again!
Websites and Additional Information:
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