Chemistry Seminar with Dr. Baron Peters of UIUC at 4:00pm

Seminar title: Population Balance Equations for Polymer Upcycling: Mechanisms and Molecular Weight Evolution in Adsorbed, Melt, and Volatile Phases

Baron Peters1*, Ryan Yappert1, Ziqiu Chen1, Changhae (Andrew) Kim1, Emmanuel Ejiogu1, Chinmay Sahasrabudhe1, Jiankai Ge1,

1Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois, 61821 Urbana, IL, USA


Abstract:  The ongoing accumulation of plastic waste in landfills and in the environment has inspired many research efforts on polymer upcycling.  To aid catalyst development and process engineering efforts, we have developed a variety of population balance models.  I will outline how these models, in combination with experimental data, are being used to test mechanistic hypotheses, to extract kinetic parameters and compare catalyst activities, to assess the impacts of mass transfer, to translate ab initio calculations to observable macroscopic predictions, and to account for vapor-liquid partitioning during depolymerization in two-phase reactors.  Finally, I will showcase new computational tools to automate model formulation, to solve the equations for flow or batch reactors, and to optimize parameters against experimental data.