KENAN CENTER FOR THE UTILIZATION OF CARBON DIOXIDE IN
MANUFACTURING (KCUCDM)– ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1,
2007 – JUNE 30, 2008
The level of activity in the KCUCDM was very low during the report period.
One project was completed. A second project was active throughout the year and is
continuing. Additional funding of new research projects during the next fiscal year
appears unlikely. Faculty from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill are no
longer participating in the Center.
It is recommended that the KCUCDM be discontinued on December 31, 2009.
The KCUCDM was established in late 1997 and was approved by the Board of
Governors on August 14, 1998, in order to carry out applied research aimed at
developing environmentally-friendly manufacturing technology based on carbon
dioxide (CO2). The initial research program involved collaborations between scientists
in the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and in
the Department of Chemical Engineering (now Chemical and Biomolecular
Engineering) at North Carolina State University. The research program was funded by
corporate memberships plus grants and contracts from outside organizations, primarily
The maximum size of the KCUCDM research program occurred in the 1999-2000
year. At this point, the Center had 16 corporate members and research expenditures of
approximately $740,000. The existence and active corporate support of the KCUCDM
was an important part of the decision in 1999 by the National Science Foundation to
fund a proposal to establish the Center for Environmentally Responsible Solvents and
Processes (CERSP), with the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill as the lead
institution and with North Carolina State University as a major participant. The
KCUCDM is linked technically and financially with the CERSP, and must continue
throughout the life of the CERSP. The CERSP will officially terminate on October 31,
Following a strategic decision to emphasize research on the use of CO2 in the
manufacture of electronic materials, corporate memberships in the KCUCDM declined
significantly. The last corporate membership expired in 2006. Subsequently, research
in the KCUCDM has been funded completely by outside grants and contracts.
The program in the KCUCDM was also impacted by a shift in the research focus
of the participants from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill towards
biomedical science and away from CO2-based technology. During the present report
period, there was no participation in the KCUCDM by University of North Carolina -
Chapel Hill scientists.
Total expenditures for the report period were $103,809. Two projects were
active. One continuing project was sponsored by the Army Research Office. This
project involves relatively fundamental research aimed at synthesis of new polymeric
materials in solvents expanded with supercritical carbon dioxide. The other project,
which was completed in February, 2008, was sponsored by Stockhausen, Inc. (now
Evonik, Inc.) (Greensboro, NC). This project, which involved the synthesis of cross-
linked poly(acrylic acid) in supercritical carbon dioxide, was applied in nature,
consistent with the mission of the KCUCDM.
It is recommended that the KCUCDM be deactivated, i.e., that it be removed
from the list of Inter-Institutional Centers and Institutes, effective December 31, 2009.
At that time, any continuing research projects can be transferred to another entity such
as the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State
University or the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Science, and Technology.
George W. Roberts
Acting Director, Kenan Center for the Utilization of Carbon Dioxide in Manufacturing