A sticky solution may make professor a lot of green

A sticky solution may make professor a lot of green »Play Video

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University wood science professor Kaichang Li was trying to make a green substitute for hot glue when he accidentally stumbled onto something possibly more lucrative: a green form of adhesive.

His adhesive, which could be used to make things like sticky notes is nontoxic, renewable and is not made with petroleum. His invention could revolutionize the adhesive industry which currently uses petroleum to make everything from those sticky notes to packing tape.

He won’t divulge all of his ingredients, but he uses soybean oil and a white powder that looks an awful lot like table salt.

When asked why companies haven’t thought of his simple formula already, Li responded, “Well, this is called invention.”

Li’s adhesive could cut manufactures costs in half, which is why news of his discovery has companies pursuing his recipe.

If his green adhesive goes “big time” and Oregon State negotiates a deal with a big adhesive company, Li will make a third of the royalties. But he said he’s not in it for the money.
“For us, when we do research, we never think about being rich,” he said.

Oregon State University has received calls from just about every major adhesive company. If a deal is negotiated, the company would test the adhesive, which would take about a year to make sure it can stay on store shelves and perform like its traditional relative.