Polymer Characterization of Plastic Debris from the Central Pacific

Kathryn L. Beers, PhD Group Leader, Polymers and Complex Fluids Group, NIST

Identification of ocean debris is one focus area of an emerging Circular Economy program at NIST that includes a new network of academic centers dedicated to plastics recycling technology and training. This talk will provide a brief overview of NIST’s role and capabilities, and then focus on early work facilitating the development of PCA tools for FT-IR through more explicit identification of samples via high throughput, multi-detection size exclusion chromatography. Results of preliminary investigations of surface degradation and other possible marine exposure effects will also be presented.

Speaker Biography: Kathryn L. Beers is a polymer chemist. Her research interests include advances in polymer synthesis and reaction monitoring, macromolecular separations, integrated and high throughput measurements of polymeric materials, microreactors and microfluidics, degradable and renewable polymeric materials and sustainable materials. Kathryn Beers holds an MS and PhD in Polymer Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS from William and Mary.


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