Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 45.32
Liaison Jon Bartlow
Submission Date March 4, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Pittsburg State University
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Brian Peery
Sustainability Coordinator
Continuing and Graduate Studies
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Kansas Polymer Research Center

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

Pittsburg State University is home to the Kansas Polymer Research Center (KPRC). One of the primary functions of the KPRC is to find ways to use bio-based oils to replace petroleum in products.
The Pittsburg State University Kansas Polymer Research Center (KPRC) qualifies for the STARS Innovation
Credit. KPRC is one of the world’s leading centers specializing in vegetable oil based polymer research and
development to reduce the use of petroleum. KPRC scientists work with industrial partners, state and
federal agencies, and producer associations on developing and commercializing alternatives to petroleum.
KPRC was previously submitted as an innovation credit. The KPRC has made additional advancements in
vegetable oil based polymer research over the last three years which are still considered innovative.
Since the previous STARS Rating KPRC has contributed several innovations related to sustainability. The
largest is perhaps our efforts to replace isocyanates in polyurethane foams. Isocyanates are a toxic, but
necessary component, for flexible and rigid foam manufacturing, and we have created several technologies
to bypass isocyanates. We recently received a patent (Foam, Composition, and Method, USPAT No.
9,487,654) and were funded by, and licensed this technology to a construction materials corporation.
Additional research in sustainability included work to find new valued-added applications for distillers dried
grains with solubles (DDGS), by finding ways to transform DDGS components into new polymeric products.
One element of this technology is described in our patent (Production Of Polyols Using Distillers Grains And
Proteins And Lignin Extracted From Distillers Grains, USPAT No. 9,238,618). KPRC also has a steady level of
research around green chemistry and bio-based feedstocks to replace petroleum-based products.
The KPRC Research Associates’ research projects are not counted in any other STARS credit because KPRC is
not part of an academic department.

+ Date Revised: Dec. 2, 2016

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

The KPRC holds 17 patents.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum ---
Research Yes
Campus Engagement ---
Public Engagement ---
Air & Climate ---
Buildings ---
Dining Services ---
Energy ---
Grounds ---
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste ---
Water ---
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work ---
Investment ---

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.