Paul, Donald R. Ph.D.

Ernest Cockrell, Sr. Chair in Engineering

photo of Donald R. Paul
Office: CPE 3.450 Mailing Address:
Phone: 512-471-5392 The University of Texas at Austin
Fax: 512-471-0542 McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering
Email: drp@che.utexas.edu 200 E Dean Keeton St. Stop C0400
UT Mail: C0400 Austin, TX 78712-1589

Research Areas: Advanced Materials, Polymers & Nanotechnology

Research Group Website

Educational Qualifications

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, The University of Wisconsin at Madison (1965)
M.S., Chemical Engineering, The University of Wisconsin at Madison (1963)
B.S., Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State College (1961)

Focus

Polymeric materials-properties, processing, blends, composites, membranes, barrier materials.


High resolution transmission electron photomicrograph of nanocomposite formed from nylon 6 and organically modified montmorillonite.

Research

Interests include the broad areas of polymer science and engineering and chemical engineering.  Current research involves various aspects of polymeric materials including polymer blends; membranes for separations, drug delivery, packaging, etc.; and polymer processing.  The blend research deals with the thermodynamics of polymer-polymer interactions (miscibility, phase diagrams, interfaces), reactive compatibilization of multiphase mixtures, rubber toughening, the control of phase morphology during processing by both chemical and physical means, and polymeric nanocomposites.  The research on diffusion in polymers involves investigation of structure-property relationships to design better membranes for separation processes and improved barrier materials plus an interest in theories and models for describing sorption and permeation of small molecule penetrants in polymers including the rubbery, glassy, semi-crystalline, and liquid crystalline states of these materials.  The research on nanocomposites involves devising chemical and processing strategies for exfoliating layered silicates in polymer matrices for improvement of performance using nanoscale reinforcement.  Synthesis, characterization, and performance of polymers are an integral part of the research in all these areas.

Current Research Projects

Formation and Properties of Thin Glassy Polymer Membranes
Rajkiran Tiwari, Post-doctoral Fellow Jianzhong Xia, Post-doctoral Fellow (National University of Singapore)

Gas Separation Membranes
Katrina Czenkusch, Ph.D. Candidate (joint with Benny D. Freeman) Zachary Smith, Ph.D. Candidate (joint with Benny D. Freeman) David Sanders, Ph.D. Candidate (joint with Benny D. Freeman) Qiang Liu, Ph.D. Candidate (joint with Benny D. Freeman) Huan Wang, Ph.D. Candidate (National University of Singapore)

Reverse Osmosis Membranes
Jovan Kamcev, Ph.D. Candidate (joint with Benny D. Freeman) Hee Jeung Oh, Ph.D. Candidate (joint with Benny D. Freeman) Ni Yan, Ph.D. Candidate (joint with Benny D. Freeman)

Layered Polymer Systems
Grant Offord, Ph.D. Candidate (joint with Benny D. Freeman) Dan Miller, Ph.D. Candidate  (joint with Benny D. Freeman and Andy Ellington) Kevin Tung, Ph.D. Candidate (joint with Benny D. Freeman)

Polymer Blends and Nanocomposites
Sateesh Peddini, Post-doctoral Fellow (joint with Chris Ellison) Xiaoping Wang, Visiting Scientist (joint with Chris Ellison)

Awards & Honors

Director, Texas Materials Institute (1998-2011); Elected as Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences of Bologna (2011); Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award (SPE-TPM&F) (2011); Elected Fellow of Polymer Division(American Chemical Society)(2011); General Motors R&D Most Valued Colleague Award (2009); Elected Fellow of American Chemical Society (2009); Elected Fellow of Materials Research Society (2009); Editor, I&EC Research; AIChE Founders Award (2008); Herman F. Mark Polymer Chemistry Award (American Chemical Society)(2005); Alan S. Michaels Award for Innovation in Membrane Science and Technology (NAMS)(2005); NAMS Founders Award (North American Membrane Society)(2005); Elected Fellow of Society of Plastics Engineers (2004); National Academy of Engineering (1988); Mexican Academy of Sciences (2001); American Chemical Society E.V. Murphree Award (1999); Council for Chemical Research Malcolm E. Pruitt Award (1999); AICHE William H. Walker Award (1998); Society of Plastics Engineers International Award (1993); Society of Plastics Engineers Education Award (1989); Materials Engineering and Sciences Division Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (1985); American Chemical Society Phillips Award for Applied Polymer Science (1984); Engineering News-Record Award (1976); and the American Chemical Society Arthur K. Doolittle Award (1973)

Selected Publications

    • Y. T. Sung, P. D. Fasulo, W. R. Rodgers, Y. T. Yoo, Y. Yoo and D. R. Paul, “Properties of Polycarbonate/Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene/Talc Composites,” J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 124, 1020 (2012).
    • C. H. Lau, D. R. Paul and T. S. Chung, “Molecular Design of Nanohybrid Gas Separation Membranes for Optimal CO2 Separation,” Polymer, 53, 454 (2012).
    • M. W. Spencer, M. D. Wetzel, C. Troeltzsch and D. R. Paul, “Effects of Acid Neutralization on the Properties of K+ and Na+ Poly(ethylene-co-methacrylic acid) Ionomers,” Polymer, 53, 569 (2012).
    • M. W. Spencer, M. D. Wetzel, C. Troeltzsch and D. R. Paul, “Effects of Acid Neutralization on the Morphology and Properties of Organoclay Nanocomposites formed from K+ and Na+ Poly(ethylene-co-methacrylic acid) Ionomers,” Polymer, 53, 555 (2012).
    • R. R. Tiwari and D. R. Paul, “Polypropylene-Elastomer (TPO) Nanocomposites: 3. Ductile-brittle Transition Temperature,” Polymer, 53, 823 (2012).
    • D. R. Paul, “Creating New Types of Carbon-Based Membranes,” Science, 335, 413 (2012).
    • S. Carranza, D. R. Paul and R. T. Bonnecaze,” “Multilayer Reactive Barrier Materials,” J. Membrane Sci., 398, 73 (2012).
    • P. Li, D. R. Paul and T.-S. Chung, “High Performance Membranes Based on Ionic Liquid Polymers for CO2 Separation from the Flue Gas,” Green Chem., 14, 1052 (2012).
    • N. R. Horn and D. R. Paul, “Carbon Dioxide Sorption and Plasticization of Thin Glassy Polymer Films Tracked by Optical Methods,” Macromolecules, 45, 2820 (2012).
    • D. S. Langhe, T. M. Murphy, A. Shaver, C. LaPorte, B. D. Freeman, D. R. Paul and E. Baer, “Structural Relaxation of Polystyrene in Nanolayer Confinement,” Polymer, 53, 1925 (2012).
    • J. Xia, T. S. Chung, P. Li, N. R. Horn and D. R. Paul, “Aging and Carbon Dioxide Plasticization of Thin Polyetherimide Films,” Polymer, 53, 2099 (2012).
    • D. R. Dreyer, D. J. Miller, B. D. Freeman, D. R. Paul and C. W. Bielawski, “Elucidating the Structure of Poly(dopamine),” Langmuir, 28, 6428 (2012).
    • S. Zhang, R. Zhang, Y. C. Jean, D. R. Paul and T. S. Chung, “Cellulose Esters for Forward Osmosis: Characterization of Water and Salt Transport Properties and Free Volume,” Polymer, 53, 2664 (2012).
    • D. F. Sanders, Z. P. Smith, C. P. Ribeiro Jr., R. Guo, J. E. McGrath, D. R. Paul and B. D. Freeman, “Gas Permeability, Diffusivity, and Free Volume of Thermally Rearranged Polymers Based on 3,3’-dihydroxy-4,4’-diamino-biphenyl (HAB) and 2,2’-bis-(3,4-dicarboxyphenyl) Hexafluoropropane Dianhydride (6FDA), J. Membrane Sci., 409, 232 (2012).
    • H. Li, K. K. Tung, D. R. Paul, B. D. Freeman, M. E. Stewart and J. C. Jenkins, “Characterization of Oxygen Scavenging Films Based on 1,4-Polybutadiene,” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 51, 7138 (2012).
    • P. A. Araújo, D. J. Miller, P. B. Correia, M. C. M. van Loosdrecht, J. C. Kruithof, B. D. Freeman, D. R. Paul and J. S. Vrouwenvelder, “Impact of Feed Spacer and Membrane Modification by Hydrophilic, Bactericidal and Biocidal Coating on Biofouling Control,” J. Desal., 295, 1 (2012).
    • D. J. Miller, P. A. Araújo, P. B. Correia, M. M. Ramsey, J. C. Kruithof, M. C. M. van Loosdrecht, B. D. Freeman, D. R. Paul, M. Whiteley and J. S. Vrouwenvelder, “Short-term Adhesion and Long-term Biofouling Testing of Polydopamine and Poly(ethylene glycol) Surface Modifications of Membranes and Feed Spacers for Biofouling Control, J. Wat. Res., 46, 3737 (2012).
    • Z. P. Smith, D. F. Sanders, C. P. Ribeiro, R. Guo, B. D. Freeman, D. R. Paul, J. E. McGrath and S. Swinnea, “Gas Sorption and Characterization of Thermally Rearranged Polyimides Based on 3,3’-dihydroxy-4,4’-diamino-biphenyl (HAB) and 2,2’-bis-(3,4-dicarboxyphenyl) Hexafluoropropane Dianhydride (6FDA), J. Membrane Sci., 415, 558 (2012)
    • T. M. Murphy, D. S. Langhe, M. Ponting, E. Baer, B. D. Freeman and D. R. Paul,” Enthalpy Recovery and Structural Relaxation in Layered Glassy Polymer Films,” Polymer, 53, 4002 (2012).
    • K. K. Tung, R. T. Bonnecaze, B. D. Freeman and D. R. Paul, “Characterization of the Oxygen Scavenging Capacity and Kinetics of SBS Films,” Polymer, 53, 4211 (2012).
    • A. D. Oliveira, N. M. Larocca, D. R. Paul and L. A. Pessan, “Effects of Mixing Protocol on the Performance of Nanocomposites Based on Polyamid 6/Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene Blends,” Polym. Eng. Sci., 52, 1909 (2012).