Dr. Corinne Scown, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab: Circular plastics and their implications for the environment 🗓

Speaker: Dr. Corinne Scown, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Meeting Date: Wednesday, Oct 13, 2021
Time: 4:00 PM PDT (Zoom, on the Internet)
Cost: none



Mechanical recycling of polymers downgrades them such that they are unusable after a few cycles. Alternatively, chemical recycling to monomer offers a means to recover the embodied chemical feedstocks for remanufacturing. However, only a limited number of commodity polymers may be chemically recycled, and the processes remain resource intensive. We use systems analysis to quantify the costs and life-cycle carbon footprints of virgin and chemically recycled conventional polymers as well as novel polydiketoenamines (PDKs) to understand the cost, life-cycle greenhouse gas, and infrastructure implications of reducing the accumulation of plastic waste in landfills and the environment.

Dr. Corinne Scown is the Vice President and founder of the Life-cycle, Economics, and Agronomy Division (LEAD) at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), Deputy Director for Research of the Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts (EAEI) Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and Head of Sustainability at the Energy and Biosciences Institute (EBI). Scown’s expertise includes life-cycle assessment, technoeconomic analysis, biofuels and bioproducts and co-management of energy and water. She has led projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, California Energy Commission, California Air Resources Board, and Energy Biosciences Institute. She also frequently collaborates with companies ranging from small startups to large multinational corporations in the bioenergy and bioproducts domain. Scown earned a B.S. in civil engineering with a double-major in engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and she received her Ph.D. and M.S. in civil and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley.
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