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Plastic to food: Converting polyethylene into palm oil

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Funding Year: 2023

Research Areas: Other, Sustainability

Less than 5% of all U.S. plastic waste generated is recycled. Meanwhile, as the demand for palm oil grows, rainforests are being cleared for new oil palm crops. This project will address both environmental challenges simultaneously by developing a new technology to convert polyethylene — by far the most discarded plastic — into palm oil. The approach could add value to the plastic waste management chain while sourcing palm oil through a less destructive, route.

Learn more about the Environmental Venture Projects grant program and other funded projects.

Principal Investigators:

Matteo Cargnello (Chemical Engineering)

Jennifer Cochran (Bioengineering)