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Market Overview

These composites chemically combine abundant agricultural and petrochemical wastes, allowing for practical reduction of inert wastes that can be used to either supplement or replace traditional construction materials. Approximately 7 million tons of waste sulfur and 5 million tons of waste lignocellulose are produced each year. Only a quarter of these sulfur wastes are utilized, while little to none of the lignocellulose wastes are used for other purposes. Clemson University researchers have created a method of using these wastes in a way that not only is environmentally friendly, but also income-producing. Their creation of construction materials that makes use of both waste streams provides a way to lower overall environmental impact and supplement the construction industry. These composites will better serve the construction industry by improving materials with enhanced properties such as water repellency, thermal stability, and mechanical strength.


Sustainable/Green Construction Materials

Technical Summary:

These composite materials contain both lignocellulosic and sulfur-containing materials of which are combined through the promotion of covalent chemical bonding. Initially, the lignocellulosic materials are modified to include a multitude of carbon to carbon bonds. These bonds allow for cross-linking with the sulfur materials, and therefore allow for the formation of the basic structure of the composites. Doping the basic structure with additional materials provides enhanced properties that increase the overall reliability of the materials. Properties that are improved as a result of this method of synthesis include biocidal properties, water repellency, thermal stability, and mechanical strength. The covalent backbone within these materials also provides a reduction in environmental leaching potential, making these composites an environmentally friendly material.


  • Chemically modified composites allow for increased mechanical strength, chemical resistance, and reduced environmental contamination.
  • Provides a practical use of both lignocellulose and sulfur wastes, creating an economically and ecologically value.
  • These composites can either enhance existing materials or replace them, establishing a wide range of applications based on the needs of the user.

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Technology Overview

State of Development

Prototype tested

Patent Type



Agriculture, Manufacturing, Sustainable Energy

Serial Number


CURF Reference No.



Dr. Rhett C. Smith, Dr. Andrew G. Tennyson

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