University of DelawareChemours

The University of Delaware Research Office invites UD faculty and researchers to attend an information session to explore seed grant opportunities with the Chemours Company, LLC. Technical leaders from Chemours will present an update about the company's R&D hub on the STAR campus, identify priorities for research and product development, and discuss the topic areas for the 2022 call for proposals.

This year, research proposals will be accepted under five categories: Sustainable Solutions, Advanced Materials, Data Science, Advanced Analytical Measurements and Novel Synthesis Routes. Category subtopics and details for this year’s RFP are available below. Preliminary proposal will be due to the Research Office at the end of September with full proposals due in early November. Submission guidelines will be disseminated after the webinar. Anticipated project start date will begin on or around January 1, 2022.

Sustainable Solutions
Recycling involving TiO2 containing materials
Chemours Titanium Technologies (TT) is interested in supporting research that would fundamentally advance the ability to recycle polymer composites and complex paint matrices containing titanium dioxide in a practical manner. Topics include advances in strategies related to the detection of different composite compositions for advanced sorting technologies, advances in particle and chemical separation science as well as particle reclamation technologies. Research that integrates science and policy to move towards the preferred use of socially-responsible recycle-friendly composites and paint technologies is also of interest.

Thermal Reflectivity
TiO2 is an excellent scatterer of both visible and Infrared (IR) radiation and so has an opportunity to decrease the energy load of cooling buildings in summer months. In certain situations, consumers prefer dark colors, rather than the lighter colors traditionally used for cool buildings. Here visible reflectivity is not desired while high IR reflectivity is. Chemours TT interests in this area are (a) how to modify TiO2 to increase IR reflectance while decreasing visible reflectance and (b) how to quantify, in the field, the cooling effect of such a pigment. Chemours is seeking interest in both material and test development in this area.

Carbon-Capture/conversion Chemours intends to become carbon positive by 2050. Embracing new technologies is one strategy towards achieving this goal. Chemours TT is interested in supporting the development of advanced carbon capture and/or carbon conversion technologies that have the potential for pragmatic utility at industrial plant sites.

Advanced Remediation Technologies
Chemours TT is interested in supporting research efforts that could lead to breakthroughs in remediation technologies for difficult to destroy compounds. New technologies for the destruction of persistent organic pollutants (e.g., PCBs) that are potentially scalable and offer practical advantages over existing methods (e.g., energy savings, sustainability, and pragmatic considerations) are desired.

Recycling of fluoropolymers back to monomers
Chemours Advanced Performance Materials (APM) is interested in the catalytic chemical conversion of fluoropolymers to reactive fluorinated monomers. Research efforts toward realizing this technology are desired.

Atmospheric Science
Chemours Thermal and Specialty Solutions (TSS) is creating a better world by bringing to market low-global warming potential (GWP) (zero Ozone Depleting Potential) technologies (e.g. hydrofluoroolefins) that have wide-ranging uses in thermal management – from heating and cooling your home and automobile, to serving as next generation technologies in semicon etchants, dielectric fluids, vehicle electrification, to name but a few. However, a better understanding the environmental fate of such technologies as pertaining to atmospheric interaction and subsequent degradation is of interest. Research programs aimed at further developing this area is desired.

Advanced Materials
Chemours TT is interested in research that advances the basic science related to the identification and selection of titanium oxide materials for catalyst applications. This also includes applications where titanium oxide is used as a support for atomically precise catalyst applications. Research including but not necessarily limited to reduced titanium oxides (e.g., black TiO2) is encouraged.

Chemours TT is interested in advancing the basic science related to the use of titanium oxides, doped titanium oxides, reduced titanium oxides, or byproducts of the TiO2 manufacturing process in clean energy and energy storage applications. Applications include but are not limited to solar hydrogen conversion, lithium ion batteries and thermal storage technologies.

Electronic Materials
hemours TT is interested in basic science supporting emerging applications of titanium oxides for next generation solid state electronics. Materials of interest include titanium oxides, doped titanium oxides, titanium oxide composites, and structured titanium oxide materials for a range of applications, including field modulation, spintronics, optoelectronics, processing/fabrication aids.

Advanced Polymer Materials
Projects looking at structure property relationships, advanced fluoropolymer processing, coextrusion, 3D printing, doping of polymer matrices for refractive index gradients, etc. We are very interested in learning more about the properties of materials processed with new techniques. Polymers films with controlled refractive indexes. Controlling polymer interfaces are also of interest.

Non-Fluorinated Extrusion Process Aid.
Chemours markets Viton™ FreeFlow™ to increase operational efficiency of extrusion and blown film production lines. FreeFlow™ is comprised of Viton™ fluoroelastomer, optionally blended with other polymers for synergistic benefit. There is a strong market interest in non-fluorinated extrusion process aids with performance similar to fluoroelastomer-based products.

Alternative Coagents
Viton™ Advanced Polymer Architecture (APA) polymers are fluoroelastomers produced using living iodo polymerization technology. APA polymers are currently crosslinked with peroxide initiator and triallylisocyanurate (TAIC) coagent. Due to potential regulatory phase-out of TAIC, there is a market need to develop alternative coagents which are more sustainable and offer properties similar to TAIC.

Data Science
Advances in Data Mining-aided Solid-state Materials Discovery and Optimization
Chemours TT is interested in the further development of techniques, tools, and approaches that facilitate data mining-aided materials discovery for applications in the catalyst, energy storage and/or electronic materials areas. Methods and strategies that enable efficient learning from a limited number of training sets for quantitive structure property relationship models are desired.

Innovative uses of data science to support the TT business
Chemours TT is interested in exploring the use of data science techniques proven in other areas for potential applications in areas of interest for the Titanium Technology business. An engagement on this topic is planned for June 21, 2021.

Building structure property predictive models for fluoropolymers
Chemours APM is interested in efforts that would help develop models for predicting a variety of properties (TG, TM, refractive index, physical properties, etc) of fluoropolymers based on monomer composition and molecular weight. Both top-down and bottom up approaches are welcome. The application of experimental data (provided by Chemours APM) to train, refine and hone the model is anticipated.

Advanced Analytical Measurements
Surface Heterogeneity in Particle Systems
Rapid characterization techniques for identifying and quantifying surface chemistry and surface structure distributions for sub-micrometer particles at is an unmet need in industry. Chemours TT is interested in efforts that push the limits and state-of-the-art in surface characterization.

Techniques for characterizing large-scale particle assemblies
New techniques for characterizing particle assemblies that provide meaningful and quantifiable morphological insights for structures comprising hundreds to millions of particles are desired. Many of Chemours TT processes and products rely on the development of long-range structure, however few characterization methods are available to efficiently characterize these systems at the length-scales required while maintaining the necessary resolution (often in the nanoscale). Chemours is interested in supporting the development of new tools that have the potential characterize particle agglomerate structure in dense slurries/pastes/wet cakes and/or in powders. These tools may characterize the particles themselves or the states of continuum between the particles (e.g., fluid structure, pore tortuosity).

Liquid-Liquid Equilibria Measurements
The Chemours Thermal and Specialty Solutions Business carries out a wide range of thermodynamic property measurement and determination to power our modeling capabilities and inform our new product design pipeline. A specific need is LLE (Liquid-Liquid Equilibria) measurement. Analytical capabilities and research in this area are desired.

Advances in Mass Spectroscopy and related analyses
Chemours APM and TSS desire techniques for non-targeted analysis of fluorinated components at sub-PPM level. We need these in a variety of media, aqueous, polymeric, gas streams, etc.

Sustainable Phase Transfer Catalysts (PTC)
Viton™ fluoroelastomers crosslinked with bisphenols and metal oxides require a PTC to accelerate the crosslinking reaction. Benzyltriphenylphosphonium chloride (BTPPC) is commonly used for this purpose. Tetrabutylammonium bromide (TBABr) is also used for this purpose, and additionally is an excellent adhesion promoter for overmolding metal parts such as shaft seals. Due to potential regulatory phase-out of BTPPC and TBABr, there is a market need to develop alternative PTCs which are more sustainable and offer properties similar to existing products.

Novel Synthesis Routes
New Synthetic Approaches or New Catalysts
This could lead to improved method to make our current suite of products or new HFOs we may consider commercializing. Specifically, catalyst development to couple RfCHCl2 (instead of RfCCl3) in vapor phase with H2 to efficiently make dihydro-internal fluorinated olefins is of interest. General focus would be on finding a catalyst or catalytic system for dehydrogenation (removal of two vicinal hydrogens) from polyfluoroalkanes, such as CF3CH2CH2CF3, CF3CFHCFHC2F5 (or higher homologs) as a new synthetic strategy for the preparation of HFO’s of perfluoroolefins. Despite the fact, that dehydrogenation is well known and quite popular method of generation of C=C bond in classical (and industrial) organic chemistry, this method is basically not known for preparation of fluorinated unsaturated compounds, in sharp contrast to dehydrofluorination or dehalogenation.

New and Innovative Synthesis Routes
For the scalable production of titanium oxide materials or titanium metal are of constant interest to Chemours TT.

The program will include a presentation from Chemours followed by an open question and answer session. Register below to indicate your attendance. We look forward to your participation in the program.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Virtual Meeting: Zoom

2 – 4:30 p.m.




Chemours Seed Grant Registration
Must be in the following format: 000-000-0000




University of DelawareChemours



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