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ChemVets Meeting - Ed Flexman

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Tuesday September 17, 2013 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
DuPont Chestnut Run, Wilmington, DE  (map)


Origin of Life

Ed Flexman


DATE: Tuesday, September 17, 2013

TOPIC: Origin of Life

SPEAKER: Ed Flexman

LOCATION: DuPont, Chestnut Run Laboratories

TIME: 12:00 Lunch (Bldg. 700 Admin. Bldg)

1:00 Presentation (Bldg. 713 Auditorium)




A brief history of earth will first be presented as background, then a review of what is life and the requirements for life, followed by discussing biomolecules probably present prior to life, their types and how they developed and interacted, and finally several current theories on how life emerged. Since this is a field very much in progress, a number of theories will be presented as well as potential interacting factors supporting them.




Working at the USDA’s Ag Lab in Peoria on paper chemistry while earning his B.S. at Bradley University, gave Ed an appreciation of the interaction of chemistry on physical properties of polymeric materials. A PhD at the real Indiana University followed in 1966. This interest was furthered during a summer as an intern at 3M’s Central Research lab working with a high temperature thermoplastic, Astral 360. When interviewing there for a permanent job two years later, he learned that product was discontinued due to a flaw he uncovered in his project. Early projects at ESL involved toughening Lucite and preparing various thermoplastic TFE copolymers and several ethylene interpolymer resins. Much of the rest of his 42+ years he worked on nylon and Delrin toughening and blending. Fortunately he also spent time with the other commercial and non-commercial resins of EP, P&IP, and Elastomers. Most common non-DuPont resins were also scouted for various blend projects, varying from inexpensive PP & PS through SAN, HIPS & ABS to PC, PPO, polysulfone to the less known ECO and SPS and others. Several “green” resins were also worked with but mostly PLA. In addition to retiring as a DuPont Fellow, Ed also obtained the Lavoisier and Pedersen awards and was granted ~32 US patents.