According to the Gazette-Times, Kaichang Li, a professor of wood science at Oregon State University, receives a dozen calls each day from businesses interested in his laboratory’s latest invention: an inexpensive adhesive made of natural materials.
He said they’re interested in the adhesive’s use of simple, reusable ingredients, including vegetable oil, which keeps costs down.
“If I gave you the recipe, you could cook it in your kitchen at home,” Li said.
Li and his team stumbled upon their discovery while trying to develop an all-natural adhesive that melts at high temperatures but is solid at room temperature, used for cardboard or wood furniture.
They didn’t reach their original goal, but found a pressure-sensitive adhesive — one that requires pressure for use — that can be used on all types of products, from duct tape to sticky notes to labels.
The vegetable oil-based adhesive is posed to make an impact: Li said environmentally friendly adhesives on the market today are expensive, adding that nearly all adhesives are made from petroleum-based chemicals.
“Even if we use up the world’s oil supply, we can still make tape” with this technology, Li said.
Photo by Gazette-Times.