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Matthew L Clower

April 6, 2020

 

Troy University’s Center for Materials and Manufacturing Sciences is announcing new research aimed to bolster production of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for healthcare workers and create new avenues for recycling medical plastic waste.

The ongoing coronavirus crisis has put in stark focus the need for increased production of PPEs for medical professionals. Dr. Govind Menon, Director of the Center for Materials and Manufacturing Sciences, said TROY researchers have begun looking at new ways to produce PPEs from polymers as a means to increase production and help prepare for future threats.

“The current pandemic has shown the crucial need to increase the nation’s production capacity in regards protective equipment for our medical professionals,” Menon said. “At TROY, we are committing to researching new methods for producing polymer-based PPEs in preparation for future medical threats.”

In addition, the Center is beginning research into methods for recycling medical plastics. Healthcare facilities in the U.S. generate more than 14,000 tons of medical waste  each day, with up to 25 percent of the amount consisting of plastic packaging or products, according to industry sources.

Currently that plastic waste ends up in landfills or incinerators, Menon said, but the Center is looking into methods to recycle that waste for non-medical uses.

“Medical plastics are high-quality virgin plastics that are being incinerated for fear of contamination,” Menon said. “We believe it’s possible to recycle this plastic and remove any threat of contamination to create useful, high-grade plastics for non-medical uses. This would be a huge reduction in waste.”

Founded in 2018 with support from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, TROY’s Center for Materials and Manufacturing Sciences is a fully integrated multi-disciplinary research facility focusing on research into polymers and polymer recycling.

September 24, 2019

Science History Institute’s Innovation Day gathers emerging industry leaders and scientists together to celebrate today’s innovations in the chemical industry and to seek solutions for tomorrow’s challenges. Dr. Govind Menon, the Director of School of Science and Technology at Troy University, was invited to give a speech titled “Politics, Policy, and the Business of Plastics Recycling” on the Innovation Day 2019 on September 10. In the speech, Dr. Menon said the need for responsible management of our natural resources will have to be the result of a conscious effort on the part of every global citizen. Nations, corporations, municipalities and research institutions will have to come together to solve complex issues concerning the preservation of our environment, its ecology and its natural diversity. In this panel discussion, Dr. Menon focused on some of the basic issues concerning the impact and impediments to plastics recycling, and surveyed a few technologies in development to address these issues. The role of governmental agencies like NIST, and the recent hearing of the House of Representatives concerning plastics recycling were also presented.

May 1, 2019

Dr. Govind Menon is the Director of School of Science and Technology, and the Chair of Department of Physics and Chemistry at Troy University. He served as one of the four expert witnesses at the United States House of Representatives'  Science, Space, and Technology subcommittee hearing: Closing the Loop: Emerging Technologies in Plastics Recycling on April 30, 2019. Please read more on Troy Today and enjoy the full video.

 

March 11, 2019

 A multi-million dollar grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has established the Center for Materials and Manufacturing Sciences (CMMS) at Troy University in Troy, Ala. The center will focus on providing real-world solutions to the plastics recycling industry over the next several years, and the project's directors want to hear from the plastics recycling sector on how they should focus their research to be applicable and beneficial to industry entities. This road-mapping workshop is your opportunity to engage directly with CMMS leaders and offer feedback on topics such as infrastructure, processing technology, packaging design and more.

 Speakers:

·         Govind Menon, Director, School of Science and Technology and Chair, Department of Chemistry and Physics, Troy University

·         Katherine Stewart, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Physics, Troy University

·         Selvum (Brian) Pillay, Chair and Professor, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham

 This workshop focused on the primary challenges that are faced at all levels of the recycling industry and was attended by over 250 people.  The workshop provided a lot of insight into the various challenges and these were categorized into broad themes (Contamination, Sorting Technology, Chemical Recycling, Improve recyclability of Plastic Films, Quality of Recycled Plastics, Education and Training, Circular Economy, Infrastructure, and Standards of Plastic Packaging).  The goal of this workshop was to introduce ourselves to the community and determine the areas in which we at the CMMS can expand knowledge to improve the recyclability of products. 

September 25, 2018

Troy University has received a $3.2 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to establish the Center for Materials and Manufacturing Sciences. This center is going to focus on plastics recycling research with coorpation with local industries. Please read the full story on Troy Today.