Plastic production has been growing exponentially througout the last decades. Huge amounts of plastic waste are generated every day, and only a tiny fraction of it is currently recycled. We are studying apporaches to chemically upcycle plastic, that is, to turn waste into valuable streams via catalytic reactions.
We explore catalyst designs that selectively target specific polymers, in order to effectively recycle mixed plastic streams. Our key goals involve developing unique catalysts that facilitate the selective separation of contaminant layers from polyolefin films and the sequential conversion of blends of polyolefins. Also, our group is working to understand the effect that common impurities may play in the depolymerization reactions, as well as their long-term effect on the catalyst used.