Katrina Knauer, Ph.D.
Speaker's Institution
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Chemistry A101
Additional Information

Seminar organized by ACS POLY/PMSE Student Chapter

About the Seminar

The plastic pollution crisis is also an energy crisis with an estimated 20% of fossil fuel consumption going towards plastic production by the year 2050. Current polymerization processes do not offer much potential for efficiency improvements and energy demand reduction. Additionally, only mechanical recycling is employed at scale, which has limited life cycles due to contamination and degradation of the polymer. Thus, the most promising decarbonization options for the U.S. plastic industry involve system-wide changes and the integration of a bio-/waste-based supply chain with a plastic-to-plastic circular economy loop based on innovative recycling techniques to recover the plastic waste. The Bio-Optimized Technologies to keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment (BOTTLE™) Consortium is a U.S. Department of Energy multi-organization consortium focused on developing new chemical upcycling strategies for today’s plastics and redesigning tomorrow’s plastics to be recyclable-by-design (RBD). This talk will highlight flagship BOTTLE technologies in low-energy plastic deconstruction, upcycling strategies for the waste intermediates, and promising RBD polymers that may challenge the current plastic industry.