Decomposition of Polyolefin Polymers with Superacids
Project Goals and Description:
A promising solution to the global plastic waste crisis is closed-loop chemical recycling, in which olefin monomers are recovered from end-of-life plastics via an efficient chemical process. The recovered olefin monomers can then be upcycled using existing manufacturing infrastructure into virgin plastics or used as a feedstock in an array of chemical industries. Current olefin monomer production from crude oil consumes ~ 0.3% of all the energy in the world. Enabling a circular economy for these commodity chemicals, which are discarded as plastic waste, would transform manufacturing. In our research we investigate new catalytic platforms that will enable to efficient breakdown of these polymers into olefin monomers, towards transforming plastic recycling and management.
Grand Challenge: Provide access to clean water.
McGuirk, C. M.; Bazilian, M. D.; Kammen, D. M. Mining Plastic: Harvesting Stored Energy in a Re-use Revolution. One Earth 2019, 1, 392.
Scott Cleary, firstname.lastname@example.org
taken organic chemistry. chemistry or chemical engineering major
TIME COMMITMENT (HRS/WK)
synthesis structural characterization catalytic testing
The student will be mentored directly by the PI, as well as by a graduate student currently working on the project
PREFERRED STUDENT STATUS