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June 12, 2023

Center for the Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics hosts annual meeting at UW-Madison

In May, over 88 academics, students and industry partners attended the annual meeting of the DOE-funded Center for Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics (CUWP), hosted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

CUWP Founders: George Huber and Robert Brown
Founders of the CUWP: Prof. George Huber (left) and Prof. Robert Brown (right).

The event included faculty and students from UW-Madison, Iowa State University, Michigan Technological University, the Universidad Autónoma De San Luis Potosi, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as well as a wide variety of corporate and governmental representatives.

Several UW-Madison CBE faculty gave talks including Richard L. Antoine Professor and CUWP director George Huber, Duane H. and Dorothy M. Bluemke Assistant Professor Styliani Avraamidou, Ernest Micek Distinguished Chair, James A. Dumesic Professor, and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor Manos Mavrikakis, Hunt-Hougen Associate Professor Reid Van Lehn, Distinguished Faculty Associate Andrew Greenberg, and Baldovin-DaPra Professor Victor Zavala. Other UW-Madison speakers included Wisconsin Distinguished Professor Emeritus Craig Benson in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Ive Hermans, John and Dorothy Vozza & Evan P. and Marion Helfaer Professor in chemistry and a CBE affiliate.

Visitors were also invited to tour several labs working on chemical upcycling of plastic waste.

CUWP poster award winners
Winners of the CUWP annual meeting poster session are as follows: 1st place Ugo Ikegwu UW – Madison Van Lehn Research Group 2nd place Kevin Sanchez-Rivera UW – Madison in the Huber Research Group 3rd place Guinevere Tillinghast University Massachusetts Amherst in the Winter Research Group

Two CBE graduate students won the meeting’s poster session, which included entries from 21 participants. Ugo Ikegwu of the Van Lehn and Zavala research Groups won first place for a poster titled “Identification of Greener Solvents for Plastic Upcycling via Solvent Targeted Recovery and Precipitation” and Kevin Sanchez-Rivera of the Huber research group won second place for the poster “Recycling of multilayer plastic packaging materials by solvent-targeted recovery and precipitation (STRAP).”