Seminar on- ‘Strategies for addressing the problem of single-use plastics' by Professor Rakesh K. Gupta, Department of CE, West Virginia University, USA | Shiv Nadar University
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Seminar on- ‘Strategies for addressing the problem of single-use plastics' by Professor Rakesh K. Gupta, Department of CE, West Virginia University, USA

The Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering cordially invites you to a seminar titled ‘Strategies for addressing the problem of single-use plastics' by Professor Rakesh K. Gupta, Department of Chemical Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA. The seminar is scheduled on 16th January at 3.30 PM; D330.

Event Date: 
Monday, January 16, 2023 - 00:00

Abstract

Everyone agrees that the proliferation of single-use plastics has led to environmental degradation and that it poses a risk to human and marine life. Although there have been many efforts to reduce the use of plastics and also to reuse them in their original or other applications, new and bigger polymer plants continue to be built. The scale of the problem can be gauged from the fact that a single polyethylene plant in the US produces 3.5 billion lbs or 1.6 million tons of polymer each year and costs about $ 6 billion to construct. Due to economies of scale and the ready availability of shale gas, the cost of production is very low.

PET is the only polymer that is recycled to any significant extent, and even this is the result of government regulations; other polymers are mainly landfilled. The technical and economic issues that act as barriers to the widespread reuse of plastics are discussed, and some success stories, including our own work on filled polymers, are described. Progress made in the development of sustainable and biodegradable plastics to replace plastics made from fossil sources for use in rigid or flexible packaging is recounted. Other strategies, including chemical recycling, are presented. The talk ends with current work on the use of natural fibres and compostable polymers to replace plastic cutlery and other items used for food applications.

About Speaker

Rakesh Gupta is the George B. and Carolyn A. Berry Professor of Chemical Engineering at West Virginia University, where he has been teaching since 1991. He has also taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo and worked for Monsanto, DuPont and Braskem America. He earned his B. Tech. in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur and his Ph.D., also in chemical engineering, from the University of Delaware. His research is focused on polymer and food rheology, polymer and food processing and polymer composites. He has published over one hundred journal papers, 80 conference papers and 20 book chapters on these topics. He also holds four U.S. patents. He is the author of Polymer and Composite Rheology, the coauthor of Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering and the coeditor of Polymer Nanocomposites Handbook and Graphite, Graphene and their Polymer Nanocomposites. He is both an “Honored Service Member” and “Fellow” of the Society of Plastics Engineers.

Monday 16, Jan 2023

D-330, SNIoE Campus

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