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fermentation diagram

Building Out the Biobased Economy

March 13, 2023
New Life-Cycle Assessment research evaluates greenhouse gas emission and environmental impact of 15 promising biochemicals

Shaping a Sustainable Future for a Common Plastic

November 18, 2021
Polyurethane is one of the world’s most widely used plastic materials, but it’s often overlooked in our daily lives. Yet whether you’re at home, at work or in your vehicle, it is usually not far away — with common end-uses ranging from mattresses and furniture cushioning to building insulation, car parts and even the soles of shoes.
plastic pieces

Making Plastics Production More Energy Efficient

March 22, 2021
Northwestern engineering researchers have demonstrated a new approach to chemical catalysis that results in high propylene yields using less energy. The findings could support more energy-efficient production processes for many plastics.
water going down a sink drain

What's in Your Water? The Health Impacts of Plastic Pollution

August 17, 2020
The world is awash in plastics. Globally, we currently produce about 300 million additional tons of plastic waste per year—nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. Most of that plastic—approximately 79 percent—ends up in landfills or the environment.

Plastic Pollution: Re-thinking Degradation and Recycling

July 01, 2019
Of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics generated since 1950, 79 percent of it has ended up in landfills and ecosystems. That adds up to more than 6.5 billion tons of plastics left to persist for hundreds or thousands of years in waterways and on land.