Recent NDSU Graduate Wins AOCS Excellence Award

Zoriana Demchuk, a recent graduate from the NDSU Coatings & Polymeric Materials program, has received the 2021 Industrial Oil Products Division Student Excellence Award from the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS). Demchuk will present at the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo.

Demchuk's paper, entitled "The Sustainable Synthesis of Monomers and Latex Polymers Derived from Renewable Plant Oils," details how renewable resources can be used to create new latex compounds. Conducted in collaboration with researchers at NDSU and Ukraine's Lviv Polytechnic National University, the work discusses the viability of synthesizing polymeric materials from vegetable oils which Demchuk notes are better than traditional petroleum-based options given their lower costs and more positive environmental impact. Biobased latexes offer controlled mechanical properties and better moisture resistance which could make them ideal candidates for various coatings applications.

Andriy Voronov, NDSU professor of coatings and polymeric materials, was Demchuk's advisor at NDSU and researcher collaborator. He commented, "I congratulate Zoriana on this well-deserved award. Several times during her PhD study she faced entirely new research tasks and she always succeeded given her strong scientific curiosity, persistency and patience."

Demchuk earned her PhD in polymer science in 2020 and currently works as a postdoctoral research associate in the Chemical Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Lab.

The AOCS Annual Meeting and Expo will be held on May 3-14, 2021. It's a premier international science and business forum on fats, oils, surfactants, proteins and related materials with an extensive technical program dedicated to 10 unique interest areas.

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