Upcycle waste plastics to high-value materials

Mentor Name:
Chen Wang

Mentor Position:
Assistant Professor

Department:
Materials Science and Engineering

College:
Engineering

Email:
chen.wang@utah.edu


Project Description:

Today, less than 10% of waste plastics are recycled. Existing approaches are effectively downcycling, such as mechanical reprocessing and pyrolysis, as they lead to products of lower value. Chemical conversion of plastic wastes into materials of higher value, or upcycling, will economically incentivize more reclamation of plastics. To that end, this project will chart new grounds in depolymerization chemistry of plastics, and subsequently convert them into high-value, high-performance polymer materials.



Opportunity Type:

Volunteer; This is a paid research position; This is a work-study research position; Prepare a UROP proposal; Write an Honors Thesis or Senior Thesis; Earn independent study credit


Student Role:

Hands-on experiments in a wet lab setting. Implement principles in organic chemistry, polymer synthesis and characterization, technical presentation, scientific writing, etc.


Student Benefits:

Learn skills in organic chemistry and polymer science. Gain necessary research experiences for graduate study in chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science.


Project Duration:

10 hours per week


Minimum Requirements:

General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering