Health, Science & Technology

Photocatalytic Upcycling of Plastics as a Sustainable Energy Alternative
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology , USA
2. ETH Zurich, Switzerland
3. Harvard University, USA

Kong Xin Ying is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, whose area of research is sustainable chemistry and chemical engineering.

Kong Xin Ying’s work focuses on developing a photocatalyst for plastics to address the issue of plastic pollution and excessive plastic waste. She plans to undergo her attachment on “Photocatalytic Upcycling of Plastics as a Sustainable Energy Alternative” to three institutions; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and Harvard University, USA.

Xin Ying’s research in developing sustainable technology for waste-to-fuel conversion seeks to serve as a potential approach in solving the imminent energy crisis and environmental issues in Malaysia.

Globally, only around 9% of plastic waste is currently recycled, with a majority of unrecycled plastics consisting of non-biodegradable polyolefins, which poses a significant challenge for waste management.

Xin Ying’s research focuses on photocatalytic reactions that can upcycle plastics into crucial platform chemicals at an ambient temperature and pressure. This ensures plastic waste can be upcycled for other purposes in a sustainable approach such as ‘mining’ plastic waste as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels for energy generation and the production of chemical feedstock.

During the proposed attachment, she aims to further develop her current photocatalytic patent to contribute to effective waste-to-wealth solutions for Malaysia.
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