A Decade of Sustainability in Chemistry

NYU-Poly Honors BASF as Founding Member of Research Center Dedicated to Environmentally Friendly Processes and Polymer Products


To mark the tenth anniversary of an academic-government-industry research partnership dedicated to developing environmentally friendly routes to polymers, the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing of Macromolecules at Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) presented a plaque to founding sponsor BASF for its steady presence and collaboration in the Center’s research. The center’s research is supported by the National Science Foundation and private industry.

“BASF scientists have provided vital input on the center’s ability to create new polymers by using biocatalytic, or enzyme, reactions that provide an environmentally safer alternative to conventional chemical routes,” said Richard Gross, Center Director and Herman F. Mark Professor in the Chemical and Biological Science Department of Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly).  “Model university-industry partnerships such as this are critically needed in the United States to conduct valuable research and boost our competitive position.”

“We are honored to receive this recognition from the center that has successfully discovered smart pathways to engineer polymers using the tools that nature provides,” said Volker Schaedler, Vice President, Innovation and Technology, BASF Corporation. “BASF is committed to finding innovative, sustainable solutions to address global challenges, such as climate protection, and we will continue to dedicate our expertise in polymer research and collaborate with the center’s members to advance these initiatives.

The center’s research has resulted in important new technologies, such as biobased plastics, building blocks for biobased polyurethanes, bio-derived chemicals that can be used in place of petroleum-derived chemicals, a new enzymatic route for PET recycling and low-cost routes to oligopeptides that are important in producing environmentally friendly antimicrobials, metal sequestration, self-assembling materials and many other applications in material, cosmetic and other industries. Center researchers have also created important knowledge on recycling immobilized lipases including ways to reduce the cost of these popular catalysts.

Today, 20 researchers, including graduate students, doctoral candidates, post-doctoral researchers and faculty collaborators from NYU-Poly and other universities focus on aspects of omega-hydroxy fatty acid based polyesters, oligomerirization of amino acids and enzyme immobilization.

Since its inception, the center has partnered with 18 corporations that in addition to BASF  include Bayer, Cognis, Covidien, DSM, EcoSynthetix, Estee Lauder, Evonik, Firmenich, Genencor, Grain Processing Company, Grace, Johnson & Johnson, Material Methods, Nalco, Novozymes, Rohm & Haas and Sherwin Williams.  The list of members reflects the extensive impact of enzyme-catalysis on a broad range of technologies that include plastics, surfactants, cosmetic ingredients, flavors, fragrances, membranes, medical materials, paints and much more.

About Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Polytechnic Institute of New York University (formerly Polytechnic University), an affiliate of New York University, is a comprehensive school of engineering, applied sciences, technology and research, and is rooted in a 157-year tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship: i2e. The institution, founded in 1854, is the nation’s second-oldest private engineering school. In addition to its main campus in New York City at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it also offers programs at sites throughout the region and around the globe. Globally, NYU-Poly has programs in Israel, China and is an integral part of NYU's campus in Abu Dhabi.

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has approximately 16,400 employees in North America, and had sales of $17.7 billion in 2010. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.us.

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, and agricultural products to oil and gas. As a reliable partner, BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges, such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €63.9 billion in 2010 and had approximately 109,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com or in the Social Media Newsroom at newsroom.basf.com.

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