Rafael Auras
E: aurasraf (at) msu.edu

Welcome to my research group’s homepage. The interests of my group  are directed towards: a) the creation of advanced performance materials, b) the design of novel functional membranes, and c) the evaluation of the end of life (EOL) scenarios of different polymers and packaging systems (PSs).

Among the creation of advanced performance materials, we are working on designing, improving and evaluating the properties of poly(lactic acid), thermoplastic starch, poly(butylene adipate-co-terephathalate), and other biobased and/or biodegradable polymers as well as conventional polymers and their blends.

The design of novel polymeric functional membranes for new active and smart packaging structures is an essential part of our research program. We use these structures to create new active PSs for different packaging applications such as fresh produce and the food packaging industry in general.

Regarding the EOL scenarios of PSs, we evaluate the environmental footprint of new and existing packaging systems. Mainly, we research about EOL techniques such as biodegradation, composting, and recycling of different PSs. We use state of the art laboratory techniques to make these determinations. We evaluate the environmental footprint of these systems and work in designing systemic sustainability analysis tools.