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“Frontiers in Materials Manufacturing: Rethinking chemistry and flow diagram for a circular economy”AbstractThe accumulation of vast quantities of plastics, wet organic waste and other waste poses a significant environmental risk, both on land and in the oceans. We also lose material that might have significant end-of-life value if recycling and other reprocessing technologies were more cost-effective. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory is among the advocates of a growing trend called the “circular economy” that shifts us from this linear practice of “produce, use and toss” to an integrated circular strategy of “recover, recycle and reuse,” where products are designed from the beginning to avoid waste and be less harmful. In a collaborative effort to “recover, recycle and reuse,” Argonne strengthens research that addresses pollution, greenhouse gases and climate change and aligns with new policies for carbon emission reduction. Many of the concepts that define Argonne’s work in the circular economy arena are in their early stages; some of them still in the formulation phase, others put into practice only within the last few years. A circular economy, one that balances sustainable manufacturing practices with stewardship of the environment, is achievable. Concerted efforts like those taking place at Argonne represent our best chance at creating a healthier economy and a healthier planet.

About the Speaker: Meltem Urgun-Demirtas leads the Bioprocesses and Reactive Separations in Argonne Na tional Laboratory’s Applied Materials Division. The group focuses on re-engineering of plant flow diagram to develop innovative technologies for industrial applications as well as development and application of intensified reactor and separation technologies for bioenergy and bioproducts production, water treatment, and manufacturing. She is also a Fellow at the Northwestern and Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering (NAISE).

Zoom link: https://psu.zoom.us/j/99577278786