text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation Home National Science Foundation - Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS)
Chemistry (CHE)
design element
CHE Home
About CHE
Funding Opportunities
Career Opportunities
Highlight Your CHE Award
Become a NSF CHE Reviewer
Newsletters, Dear Colleague Letters, and Workshop Reports
See Additional CHE Resources
View CHE Staff
MPS Organizations
Astronomical Sciences (AST)
Chemistry (CHE)
Materials Research (DMR)
Mathematical Sciences (DMS)
Physics (PHY)
Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (OMA)
Proposals and Awards
Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
Proposal Preparation and Submission
bullet Grant Proposal Guide
  bullet Grants.gov Application Guide
Award and Administration
bullet Award and Administration Guide
Award Conditions
Other Types of Proposals
Merit Review
NSF Outreach
Policy Office
Additional CHE Resources
Image Credits
Other Site Features
Special Reports
Research Overviews
Multimedia Gallery
Classroom Resources
NSF-Wide Investments

Email this pagePrint this page
All Images

Press Release 06-153
Vitamin C and Water Not Just Healthy for People -- Healthy for Plastics, too

New manufacturing techniques may lead to cheaper, "greener" plastics

Back to article | Note about images

Researchers are using vitamin C (background) to craft certain plastics more efficiently.

A new use for vitamin C (background) allows researchers to use less copper catalyst to drive powerful polymerization reactions critical for manufacturing many plastics.

Credit: National Science Foundation, adapted in part from a Carnegie Mellon graphic


Three tubes containing substances labeled ATRP, New ERA ATRP and FRP.

This image illustrates the power of the new ERA technology developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. This environmentally friendly technology uses vitamin C or other electron-absorbing agents to reduce the amount of copper driving a plastic manufacturing technique known as ATRP. ATRP gives manufacturers a broader chemistry toolkit than the commercially used FRP technique, yet produces significant copper waste. In a series of test tubes, the dark solution (ATRP) contains a high amount of copper byproduct, while FRP contains none. The new, "green" ERA-ATRP process has the power of ATRP, creating nanoscale, uniform plastics with optimal functionality, but ERA is more efficient and yields a much clearer solution with less catalyst waste.

Credit: Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University

Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (1.1 MB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.

Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page