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Eco-friendly glue designed by Cal Poly, Geisys Ventures team earns industry

Contact: Nick Wilson
805-235-8008; [email protected]

An eco-friendly glue product that was created by a California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) chemistry team in partnership with an East Coast company has earned a prestigious innovation award granted by a national industry council.

D-Glue — a debondable adhesive platform created by Cal Poly Chemistry Professor Phil Costanzo in partnership with the Massachusetts-based company Geisys Ventures — earned the second runner-up 2024 Innovation Awards honor presented by the Adhesives and Sealants Council (ASC) in Louisville, Ky. 

The award was announced Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at the ASC Annual Convention & EXPO held in Louisville. The council’s innovation awards are given to those who significantly impact chemistries “that contribute to downstream industries’ unmet needs and advancements in technology.”

Participants in the annual ASC contest include raw material suppliers, manufacturers and academics focused on adhesives and/or sealants.

D-Glue was designed with Cal Poly student research and development involvement over the past few years and now is a patented, commercial product. 

D-Glue has applications for uses in electronics, vehicles, solar panels, apparel, and other types of products, making it far more convenient and cost-effective to repair, reuse and recycle manufactured products because of the adhesive’s ability to be broken down more easily than many mainstream glue products. 

“To be recognized by industry is a major accomplishment,” Costanzo said. “To launch this idea from the benchtop to a position to now enter the real word is both exciting and helps validate our process. We’re helping to solve actual problems with practical, applicable solutions.”

Kris Stokes, principal scientist of Geisys Ventures, collaborated with the Cal Poly research team to design and usher the product to market, creating the adhesive using a sequence of bonds that link one polymer chain to another, referred to as Diels-Alder linkages.

Typically, extreme heat is typically required to separate recyclable materials from the glue currently in use, and often the cost is prohibitive, discouraging reclamation that saves waste and environmental pollution. 

D-Glue is designed so that it can be broken apart at lower temperatures, requiring much less energy, while maintaining the integrity of the item.

“The fact that ASC recognizes our product as an impactful industry innovation underscores how important debondable adhesives are for the circular economy and for extending the life cycle of materials and products that we all routinely use, from computers and cell phones to shoes and jackets,” Stokes said. “We are thrilled to receive this recognition by industry peers and advance awareness of our goal to distribute D-Glue broadly to make a positive environmental impact in the marketplace.” 

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About Bailey College

Cal Poly’s Bailey College of Science and Mathematics, home to about 2,800 undergraduate and roughly 280 graduate students, offers degrees in biology, chemistry, kinesiology and public health, physics, mathematics, statistics, marine science, microbiology, and biochemistry. The college also houses the university’s undergraduate Liberal Studies program for future teachers, and Cal Poly’s post-baccalaureate School of Education. Bailey College embraces Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing mission, is an esteemed institution, noted for outstanding undergraduate research and significant student co-authorship participation on scientific journal publications.