2021 Schedule

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Monday, Oct 4
3:00pm — 4:00pm
Virtual Panel
160 attending

Trash to Treasure - Opportunities for startups to reimagine making things and reduce waste by using innovative upcycling approaches and technology – National Renewable Energy Lab

5.7 billion metric tons of discarded plastic have never been recycled. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is leading two new nation-wide programs to address the issue. NREL researcher Phil Pienkos has also started a new company based on the production of fully renewable non-isocyanate polyurethanes (NIPUs) for use in foams, coatings, and adhesives with footwear, fabrics and outdoor gear chosen as the initial target markets. And startup company Alt Tex is developing a sustainable polyester engineered from food waste.

Join this panel of presenters to learn about the magnitude of the problem and how it’s being addressed.

Bio-Optimized Technologies to keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment (BOTTLE™) is a U.S. Department of Energy multi-organization consortium led by NREL and focused on developing new chemical upcycling strategies for today's plastics and redesigning tomorrow's plastics to be recyclable-by-design.

Plastics leaking into U.S. watersheds exceed 1 million tons per year. Plastics pollution can travel over 1000 miles in rivers and measured concentrations are highest near urban centers like Denver. WaterPACT - Waterborne Plastics Assessment and Collection Technologies project - is a new U.S. Department of Energy project designed to develop new approaches to assessing and collecting waterborne plastics pollution.

Polaris Renewables: The Polaris technology eliminates the use of toxic petrochemical isocyanates and provides significant sustainability advantages. The cost of production is comparable to commercial polyurethanes and manufacturing should require little or no changes to existing facilities.

Alt Tex: ALT TEX is creating the world’s most sustainable polyester alternative, from one of the world’s largest landfill contributors – food waste. ALTernative TEXtile’s waste-to-wardrobe technology brings polyester-like performance into a biodegradable and carbon neutral textile.

Ben Maurer
Meredith Doyle
Philip Pienkos
Hybrid Events for 2021
Starting 5 minutes before a session is live, use the link below to join the live studio audience. If a session fills up, you can also check it out on YouTube Live, embedded below.
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