Presently, bio-based composite performance does not match conventional materials. Compared to conventional petroleum-based products, bio-based materials carry a higher degree of chemical functionality creating complex, potentially hierarchical structures with incredible potential, but also with intense measurement needs. Recently Omenn identified "chemical feedstocks from renewable resources, especially biomass" as one of the Grand Challenges facing the scientific community. To enable use of these materials in Sustainable Composites an unprecedented effort must be launched to develop the fundamental structure-property and processing-property relations that will enable these materials to provide the necessary performance in the wide spectrum of applications envisioned. NIST recently developed a FRET imaging method for nanocomposites, and this coupled with other characterization methods such as the Raman measurement method developed by Eichorn, which allows measurement of the mechanical stress-transfer across the interface in bio-composites, will be further developed and compared. This will aid in development of tools which will enable industry to gain a better fundamental understanding of composite performance, and to develop high performance sustainable bio-based composites.
 Gilbert Omenn, Science Vol 314, 15 December 2006.
 M. Zammarano, P. Maupin, L.P. Sung, J. W. Gilman, D. M. Fox, "Revealing the Interphase in Polymer Nanocomposites" ACS Nano Vol 5, No. 4, 3391-3399, 2011.
 S. J. Eichorn, et al, Biomacromolecules, 2010, 11, 762-768.