This issue leads us into the American Coatings Show, which will be held April 5-7 in Indianapolis. I know that attendees and exhibitors alike are looking forward to reconnecting at this important event, especially since it has been four years since we have all gathered there. To tie in to some of the topics that will be covered at ACS, we have packed this issue with great content covering additives, polymers, powder coatings, antimicrobial coatings, a chemical industry update, and more.

I would like to draw your attention to one article in this issue that was a fun project for me, titled Painting a Brighter Future Through Paint Recyling. Last November, PCI was invited to visit and tour GDB International’s paint recycling headquarters in Nashville, IL, and this article features some highlights, photos and video from our visit. Prior to our tour I had a very limited understanding of the world of paint recycling. The visit was extremely educational, and opened my eyes to the scale and importance of these efforts.

Many thanks to Sanjeev Bagaria, the company’s CEO, who treated us to an incredibly in-depth view into his company (which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year), the PaintCare nonprofit product stewardship organization, as well as the planet-saving benefits that paint recycling brings. Paint manufacturers, raw material suppliers, retailers and DIYers should all learn how they can participate and responsibly dispose of leftover, unused, mistinted, out-of-spec or discontinued product.

It looks like there are a lot of exciting opportunities ahead in the world of paint recycling. Just today I received a press release detailing a partnership between Eastern Michigan University's (EMU) Polymers and Coatings program and GDB. As part of this partnership, GDB established the GDB International Expendable Scholarship in Polymers and Coatings, a $10K scholarship for polymers and coatings students. The company has also committed to accepting two polymers and coatings graduate students for a summer internship starting this year. Additionally, joint research programs at the Coatings Research Institute are underway.  

Vijay Mannari, Distinguished Professor of polymers and coatings technology, and Director for the Coatings Research Institute at EMU, who is also instrumental in cementing this partnership, stated, “I am very excited about this partnership, as the GDB scholarship will support students in their experimental research that will develop advanced solutions for sustainable recycling of a wide variety of paints and coatings. The summer internship will provide a unique and unparalleled learning experience to our students in exploring emerging paint recycling processes."

Mannari said that his visit to GDB operations in the summer of 2021 was beneficial in understanding technical issues associated with the paint recycling industry. “EMU Coatings Research Institute is in an excellent position to leverage its strength and develop solutions by joint research projects with GDB under this partnership,” Mannari added.