Wu is an associate professor of chemistry at UW–Platteville with a background in analytical chemistry and chemical engineering. He has been active in material development, characterization and applications.
Casein and whey have been shown to have unique polymer properties for commercial applications. This project will explore the idea of converting casein in waste milk and whey from cheese byproduct to make filaments for the ever-growing 3D printing sector. Casein holds great promise as a major component in 3D printing filament. Water soluble whey can be modified to be compatible with the filament making process. Applying existing experience and knowledge in biocomposite development will help us realize the hidden potential of sustainable casein and whey in material development. Expected deliverables are milk-protein based filaments, 3D printed specimens and mechanical properties data. Achieving milestones in this project will create a new demand for milk and milk protein products and a new way to use spoiled/bacteria-contaminated milk and protein waste from processing facilities, which could potentially help farmers and communities avoid financial losses and disposal.