Sustainable plastic production offers numerous benefits – environmental harm reduction, consumer satisfaction, demonstrating brand values, and staying ahead of government regulations. The plastics industry is embracing sustainability in every step of plastic design, production, use, and recycling. As these eco-friendly methods become more sophisticated, they will become cheaper and more efficient, thus further enhancing the business case for a circular plastic economy.
Until recently, the majority of plastic recycling was thermoplastics, such as water bottles and packaging. Compared to thermoplastics, traditional thermosets are highly durable and heat resistant, which makes them effective for applications like cars or cell towers yet difficult to break down and recycle. Developing thermosets that are recyclable will contribute to greater sustainability and less highly durable plastic waste in landfills.
In this panel discussion, experts in the field will discuss the latest innovations and challenges in thermoset recycling. Professor John M. Torkelson, Northwestern University, will discuss his research in designing recyclable thermosets by employing dynamic covalent bonds as cross-links. Dr. Nicholas Rorrer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will share how his team is creating thermosets from biomass that can be reused multiple times. Join us to hear about the latest research in thermoset recycling from pioneering researchers in the field.
Walter P. Murphy Professor
Senior Researcher – Polymer Engineering and Biomaterials Development
National Renewable Energy Laboratory