Harnessing the Power of Natural Polymers: Innovation Opportunities for Circular Materials

ACS Webinars

It can be difficult to carry materials innovation from discovery through commercialization, as it requires people at every level of the supply chain to take risks that will enable sustainable science and technology to succeed at critical scale. While consumers are beginning to embrace sustainable materials as a gateway to circularity, they still want the same performance and regulatory compliance in these new products that they have come to expect from incumbent, synthetic materials. Meet three scientists contributing to innovations in natural polymers, obtained from renewable feedstocks using chemical and biotechnological processes, that companies can sustainably satisfy consumer demand across home and personal care, agriculture, food, and other critical market segments.

Benjamin S. Hsiao of Stony Brook University will introduce his work on zero-waste nitro-oxidation processing (NOP) technologies to close the nutrient cycle and develop new natural polymer products for the agricultural industry by upcycling biomass and waste residues. Christian Lenges of International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) will follow by outlining strategic principles used at IFF towards commercializing sustainable material innovation through biorefinery integrated biomanufacturing. Lyndsay Leal will then share the Dow Chemical Company’s journey to create sustainable materials for home and personal care markets, showcasing examples for modification of polysaccharides to alter rheological properties and enhance the efficacy of formulation ingredients in rinse-off products. The webinar will conclude with a panel discussion on how the newly formed ACS Green Chemistry Institute (GCI) Natural Polymers Consortium can be positioned to connect researchers in a pre-competitive manner to address the most critical development and application of natural polymers for commercial products.

This ACS Webinar is moderated by Edmond Lam of ACS GCI and is co-produced with the ACS Green Chemistry Institute.

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What You Will Learn

  • Chemical and biotechnologies that utilize renewable feedstock to enable circular manufacture of natural polymers 
  • Performance differentiated biomaterials innovation that also provides critical sustainability benefits. 
  • Global commercial opportunities and regulatory hurdles for natural polymers in agriculture, home & personal care products. 
  • How the ACS GCI Natural Polymers Consortium will work with industry, academia, and NGOs to catalyze the development and application of natural polymers in material science.

Co-Produced With


What an attendee said about this ACS Webinar!

All of the speakers gave cutting edge insights that were intriguing. I especially enjoyed learning from Dr. Leal. The specifics of her work at Dow are something I can fold into a lecture to help students understand chemistry in everyday life.


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Benjamin S. Hsiao
Distinguished Professor, Stony Brook University

Christian Lenges
Venture Director, IFF

Lyndsay Leal
Research Scientist, Dow Chemical Company

Edmond Lam
Assistant Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

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