Plastic is an amazing material: it is light, strong, flexible and cheap to produce. But it has two big drawbacks: it’s made from petroleum, of which we have limited supplies, and it doesn’t decompose easily. Humans throw away billions of tonnes of plastic every year. A tiny portion of it is now biodegradable, but the vast majority will sit in landfill sites for centuries.
What if we could make plastic from renewable biomaterials instead of petrochemicals? This possibility intrigues Emma Master, a professor of chemical engineering. In her lab in the Wallberg Building’s “BioZone,” she is investigating how to use plants to create new materials and chemicals. To read the full story, click here.