BOCO Bio-Nanotechnologies Inc. is the world’s first commercial producer of chitin nano-whisker (CNW), a fully bio-based, and bio-degradable nanomaterial derived from fishing waste. Sustainably and economically extracted from crab/shrimp shells, CNW exhibits ultra-high strength, toughness, low density, biocompatibility, barrier, antimicrobial properties and more. It allows CNW to have a diverse range of applications across many industrial sectors such as plastics, composites, adhesives, biomedical devices, 3D printing, energy conversion and storage etc.
This talk discusses the latest development of CNW used as nano-reinforcement for epoxy applications. Specifically bio-nanocomposites based on CNW and diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA) epoxy. The resultant bio-nanocomposites exhibits simultaneous enhancements in tensile strength, modulus, toughness and elongation to break while maintaining optical clarity; a rare observation for ridged filler/thermoset composite systems. We hypothesize that beyond the functions of a rigid nano-filler, CNW could function as macromolecular polyamine hardener due to its surface amine groups. The superior composite performance is explained by the strong interfacial compatibility facilitating much more efficient load transfer between matrix and CNW.
Recognized as one of the most innovative young entrepreneurs (Forbes 30 Under 30) and one of the most influential people under 35 in the plastics industry (Rising Star 2015 by Plastics News), Aaron Guan is the Founder, Director and General Manager of BOCO Bio-Nanotechnologies Inc. He also serves as Board Director and Newsletter Chair for Society of Plastic Engineers’ Thermoplastic Materials and Foams Division.
Received both his B.A.Sc and M.A.Sc in mechanical engineering at the University of Toronto, he has a number of patents and publications in the fields of bio-based nano-reinforcement, biopolymers, thermoplastics and composites. Decorated with multiple awards recognized his efforts in the development of sustainable biobased nanotechnology and entrepreneurship, Aaron founded BOCO in 2013 which specializes in the development of a novel nano-material known as chitin nanowhisker, a fishing waste sourced single crystal with diverse applications.