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Award Abstract #1127846

AIR: First stage commercialization of Oil Anti-Deposition Dispersant technology for spilled oil

Div Of Industrial Innovation & Partnersh
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Initial Amendment Date: July 20, 2011
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Latest Amendment Date: May 24, 2013
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Award Number: 1127846
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Barbara H. Kenny
IIP Div Of Industrial Innovation & Partnersh
ENG Directorate For Engineering
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Start Date: August 1, 2011
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End Date: July 31, 2014 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $234,946.00
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Investigator(s): Robert Lochhead Robert.Lochhead@usm.edu (Principal Investigator)
Sarah Morgan (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Southern Mississippi
2609 WEST 4TH ST
Hattiesburg, MS 39401-5876 (601)266-4119
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NSF Program(s): Accelerating Innovation Rsrch
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Program Reference Code(s): 115E, 1440, 7218, 7233, 8019, 8038, 9150
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Program Element Code(s): 8019


Program Director's Recommendation

Proposal #1127846

This project seeks to develop a class of bio-derived, biodegradable, oil dispersants which resist wetting and spreading on solid substrates such as plants and animals. The intellectual merit of this project is that more safe and effective dispersants are needed to help mitigate the impacts of oil spill disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon incident. The PIs have effectively used funds from the NSF RAPID program to identify a class of dispersants that are macromolecular aggregates of natural cellulose polymers and soy bean lecithin. A clear case is made that these compounds do not allow oil to foul bird feathers, and it is presumed that since they are natural in origin, they would be a safer alternative to the current petrochemically derived dispersants. The PIs have a strong record of expertise in this area, and are uniquely suited to this work. They clearly outline a detailed list of scientific and business-related questions that must be answered to push this product to the marketplace.

The broader impact of discovering more effective and non-toxic oil dispersants is clear. The PIs have a strong record of incorporating others into their work, such as the local junior college students and instructors, some of whom are included as inventors of the disclosed technologies. There is a plan for student and workforce training that will span both the academic laboratory and associated industrial partner operations.


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Lochhead, R.Y., Padman, V,; LaBeaud, L. "Polymeric Delivery Systems for a Sustainable Planet and Contented Consumers,," Household and Personal Products Industry, 2012.


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