The Biodegradable Polymer Research Center (BPRC) functions to carry out exploratory and fundamental research on biodegradable polymers to support the technological interests of its members. To realize this objective, the BPRC has been organized to merge expertise in microbial production of polymeric materials, organic transformations, plastics processing, materials characterization, biodegradation testing and environmental impact analysis. BPRC's goals are to -
Develop biodegradable polymers that when disposed in biologically active environments are completely converted to biological products (biogas, humic matter, biomass, etc.) within a suitable period. The biodegradable polymers as well as degradation products must be environmentally compatible causing no deleterious effects on the environment.
Maintain a research program which is at the forefront of the science and work in close partnership with industry from project inception to commercial evaluation.
Bring together leading industrial and government scientists to foster close interactions and rapid transfer of new knowledge, methods and technologies between participants.
Maintain a strong research team which consists of scientists having a range of skills within the disciplines of engineering, chemistry and biology to effectively accomplish Center research which is, by its nature, highly interdisciplinary.
Educate students within the University in the emerging technology area of biodegradable plastics. This is accomplished through guided B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. thesis research and course work in Chemistry, Engineering, and Biology.
Educate officials, politicians and any individuals involved in creating policy within the state and federal government of the technology which is currently available and in development which can be used towards reducing the serious problems currently faced in solid waste disposal.
Provide leadership in stimulating biodegradable polymer science and technology within the international community through publications, presentations at meetings, founding and editing the Journal of Environmental Polymer Degradation, organization and planning scientific meetings on biodegradable materials and active participation in the Bio/Environmentally Degradable Polymer Society and the ASTM subcommittee on environmentally degradable polymers.