Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Spider silk based products: Economic feasibility and process optimization

Presenter Information

Alan EdlundFollow

Class

Article

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Faculty Mentor

Jason Quin

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

While spider silk has been known for its valuable properties including strength to weight ratio, the commercial viability of the production and integration of synthetic spider proteins into commercial products has not been fully explored. Recent advances in the spider silk protein production and refinement have facilitated the development and evaluation of a variety of bio-based products. In an effort to focus experimental work and drive towards commercialization, modular engineering system models validated with experimental data were generated and leveraged to perform a techno-economic analysis of the integration of spider silk protein as a precursor for carbon fiber. From this analysis it is evident that spider silk has the potential to be economical and become an integral part of composites, textiles and fabrics requiring high strength and high endurance. Results include the evaluation of multiple production scenarios which include fermentation, transgenic silk works, and alfalfa for protein production. Downstream processing of proteins into fibers for the production of various products from carbon fiber precursors to textiles are evaluated. Product performance and use has been validated with laboratory testing. Results from modeling work highlight key areas in the production process for reducing cost and moving towards commercial viability.

Start Date

4-9-2015 12:00 PM

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Apr 9th, 12:00 PM

Spider silk based products: Economic feasibility and process optimization

While spider silk has been known for its valuable properties including strength to weight ratio, the commercial viability of the production and integration of synthetic spider proteins into commercial products has not been fully explored. Recent advances in the spider silk protein production and refinement have facilitated the development and evaluation of a variety of bio-based products. In an effort to focus experimental work and drive towards commercialization, modular engineering system models validated with experimental data were generated and leveraged to perform a techno-economic analysis of the integration of spider silk protein as a precursor for carbon fiber. From this analysis it is evident that spider silk has the potential to be economical and become an integral part of composites, textiles and fabrics requiring high strength and high endurance. Results include the evaluation of multiple production scenarios which include fermentation, transgenic silk works, and alfalfa for protein production. Downstream processing of proteins into fibers for the production of various products from carbon fiber precursors to textiles are evaluated. Product performance and use has been validated with laboratory testing. Results from modeling work highlight key areas in the production process for reducing cost and moving towards commercial viability.