June 10, 2021 May  6, 2021
Graphical abstract: Melt-reprocessing of mixed polyurethane thermosets  

Congratulations Ajmir for the article on Melt-reprocessing of mixed polyurethane thermosets.

We report, for the first time, melt-reprocessing of mixed PUs made of aliphatic and aromatic feedstocks. This work has the capability to divert multi-million tons/year of waste PUs into valuable feedstock for manufacturing, thus saving energy and chemicals that are used to generate virgin PUs.

Congratulations Naveed for the article on  Are telechelic polysiloxanes better than hemi-telechelic for self-cleaning applications?

Our breakthrough development confirms that telechelic polysiloxanes (PDMS-T) incorporated into epoxy-based anti-smudge coatings outperform hemi-telechelic polysiloxanes (PDMS-HT) by offering excellent repellency against difficult to repel liquids.

March 10, 2021 January 18, 2021
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Congratulations Dhwani for the article on Green analogs of polybutadienes from carbon dioxide and epoxy‐based feedstocks.

This work reports the synthesis of rubbery unsaturated polycarbonates (RUPCs) as green alternatives for polybutadiene. These green RUPCs have the potential to replace non-renewable polybutadiene in some applications such as high impact materials.

Congratulations Aditya for the article on Oil- and water-resistant paper substrate using blends of chitosan-graft-polydimethylsiloxane and poly(vinyl alcohol).

The work reported an economical, plastic- and fluorine-free coating approach for oil and water repellent paper substrates using blends of poly(vinyl alcohol) and chitosan-graft-polydimethylsiloxane copolymer.

January 1, 2021:

  • Happy New Year:

    Let's welcome this year with new zeal and welcome Samin, Saleh, Subhaprad and Vikash to Sustainable Materials Group as our new Graduate Students. Welcome abroad and wish you all a bright career ahead.




December 18, 2020 September 16, 2020
Graphical abstract: A comparative study of thallium(iii) and iodine(iii)-mediated ring contraction reactions for the synthesis of indane

Congratulations Ajmir for the article on A comparative study of thallium(iii) and iodine(iii)-mediated ring contraction reactions for the synthesis of indane.

Reported herein is a comparative study of the synthesis of indane via ring contraction reaction, mediated by iodine(III) and thallium(III).This study provides an important development related to the efficacy of the two oxidizing agents for ring contraction reaction.

Congratulations Shamila for the article on Zein and PVOH-Based Bilayer Approach for Plastic-Free, Repulpable and Biodegradable Oil- and Water-Resistant Paper as a Replacement for Single-Use Plastics.

Herein, fully biodegradable and food-safe coated paper substrates are reported with excellent water- and oil-resistant properties. It shows outstanding water- and oil-resistant performance with Cobb60 values below 3.00 g/m² and kit ratings reaching up to 12/12.

September 5, 2020 August 13 2020

Congratulations Ajmir for the article on Covalent Adaptable Network and Self-Healing Materials: Current Trends and Future Prospects in Sustainability.

This work estimates that if the growth of polymer production continues at its current rate of 5% each year, the current annual production of 395 million tons of plastic will exceed 1000 million tons by 2039.  Trends in self-healing CANs systems, their market value, mechanistic insights regarding polycarbonates, polyesters, polyamides, polyurethanes, and polyurea are highlighted in this review.


Congratulations Dhwani for the article on Fabrication of oil- and water-resistant paper without creating microplastics on disposal.

This work reports a plastic-free paper coating derived from chitosan and sunflower oil. The Cobb 60 and kit rating values were determined to be 8.00 g/m² and 7.66, respectively, for the optimal formulations. Meanwhile, the water contact angle was found to be 94.0 ± 1.6° after 30 s.

June 17, 2020 May 25, 2020
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Congratulations Dhwani for the article on Starch and Zein Biopolymers as a Sustainable Replacement for PFAS, Silicone Oil, and Plastic-Coated Paper.

This work provides a unique approach towards eliminating PFAS and silicone oil completely from paper coating. The coated paper was completely recyclable, thermally, mechanically stable, and thus will help in minimizing the environmental footprints of packaging materials.

Congratulations Ajmir for the article on Self-healing and self-cleaning clear coating.

This work provides a new strategy to demonstrate highly transparent coating with both omniphobic as well as with self-healing properties. The obtained coatings exhibited complete healing within 10 min at 40 to 60 °C with multiple time recovery.

April 29, 2020  April 13, 2020
Scheme 1  Dhwani-6-6-20

Congratulations Ajmir for the article on High modulus, fluorine-free self-healing anti-smudge coatings.

Reported herein is a simple strategy for the fabrication of phenolic polyurethane coatings with self-healing and anti-smudge properties as well as good mechanical strength and optical clarity.

Congratulations Dhwani for the article on Food-Safe Chitosan-Zein Dual-Layer Coating for Water- and Oil- Repellent Paper Substrates.

This work provides new insights on developing water and oil repellent coatings for paper substrates derived from 100% biobased and biodegradable materials such as chitosan and zein.


 March 28, 2020:

  • Our team received MTRAC AgBio award ($25,000)

March 13, 2020:

  • Zhao Li successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation on Fabrication of Water and Oil/Grease-Resistant Paper Coating for Packaging Application.

February 18,2020:

  • Congratulations to Syeda Shamila Hamdani and co-authors for their work on Chitosan–Graft–Poly(dimethylsiloxane)/Zein Coatings for the Fabrication of Environmentally Friendly Oil- and Water-Resistant Paper

We report a new sustainable approach for the development of oil- and water-resistant paper. Thanks to the efficient pulp recovery and the biodegradable nature of the coating ingredients (chitosan and zein), this novel water- and oil-resistant paper will positively impact the environment by offering potential replacements for single-use plastic applications, and will thus help to minimize ocean microplastics and the burdens placed on landfills.

Abstract Image

Response Surface Methodology Design for Biobased and Sustainable Coatings for Water- and Oil-Resistant Paper

February 2020: 

Our team develops coatings with self-healing and self-cleaning abilities

The article published in Paint & Coating Industry (PCI) Magazine.

January 2020:

December 2019:

Zhao Li completed 6-month co-op (Jun.-Dec. 2019) as a packaging engineer in Biogen Inc., Cambridge, MA.

November 2019: 

  • Sustainable Materials (SusMat) Group has been awarded a grant of $24,847 from US Environmental Protection Agency to develop A planet-friendly and scalable approach towards 100% recyclable water- and oil-resistant paper.
  • Sustainable Materials (SusMat) Group has been awarded a grant of $38,000 by advanced Grant Proof of Concept Fund/MSU for developing Food safe water- and oil-repellent paper substrates for food packaging.
  • Dr Rabnawaz has been nominated again for the prestigious Moore Inventor Fellowship by MSU.

April 2019:

  • A demo of our latest coating technology: 

March 2019:

  • Dr. Rabnawaz has been nominated for the prestigious Moore Inventor Fellowship by Michigan State University
  • Dr. Rabnawaz Research Team has been awarded a TSGTD grant of $100,000.
  • Dr. Rabnawaz and Dr. Aliakbarian have been awarded a TSGTD grant of $51,800.

August 2018:

  • Congratulations to Vijay Pandian for completing his Master's Thesis Defense!

July 2018: 

June 2018: 


May 2018: 

  • Congratulation Dr. Rabnawaz (Packaging) and Dr. Blanchard (Chemistry) for receiving a TSGTD grant of $100,000!

  • Congratulations to Dr. Rabnawaz's group on receiving $68,000 in M-TRAC funding!

April 2018:

Innovation Celebration 2018


  • Spherification demo was presented to students from King's High School who visited MSU on 4/17/18
  • Our group welcomes a new PhD student Zhao Li!

March 2018:

  • Dr. Rabnawaz's article, "Encapsulation of catalyst in block copolymer micelles for the polymerization of ethylene in aqueous medium," has been published in Nature Communication. Follow this link for the article:
  • Krystal and Nazim present a demo on spherification at Girls' Math and Science Day, hosted by the MSU chapter of Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) 

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February 2018:

  • There is an open position for a Research Associate in Rabnawaz's Research Group. 

Position Summary

The research position will be focused on the synthesis of monomers and polymers especially from renewable feedstock.  Strong candidates will have an excellent track record of productivity in areas relevant to polymer and organic synthesis as well as proven expertise in the analytical  techniques such as  NMR, MALDI, GPC, etc. 

Application and more info can be found here:

January 2018:

  • Dr. Rabnawaz group has been awarded MTRAC Tier II award for the development of high barrier plastics. 

  • A warm welcome to our newest research group members - Doctoral student Burhan and Postdoctoral student Nazim

 December 2017:

November 2017:

  • A postdoctoral research associate position is available in the School of Packaging at Michigan State University in the research group of Professor Muhammad Rabnawaz. The research position will be focused on the development of functional polymer coatings with emphasis on epoxy and polyurethane coatings. This position will also involve the development of spray, cast and dip coating methodologies for the epoxy and polyurethane coatings. Also, the candidate is expected to conduct properties (mechanical, adhesion, abrasion, and surface tensions) assessments for these coatings. The position will begin January 1, 2018 en-us/job/498174/research- associatefixed-term

  • Our latest article in Journal of Molecular Structures


  • Student visit from ​Reeths-Puffer school. We did polyurethane based experiments to show the school kids how important and significant science is and how packaging plays a major role in our environment 
  • A new Master's student has joined our research group. Welcome aboard Krystal.

October 2017:

  • ​​Dr. Rabnawaz’s interview with FOODLINE RADIO related to “The current and future in plastic packaging" Please click the link to listen to the radio interview (10/16/2017)
  •  We have filed our 6th invention disclosure in 2017. 

September 2017:

  • Our article in Green Chemistry

green pack1