Using Oranges to Make Plastic More Environmentally Friendly
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Today, we use plastics in every part of our lives. But producing much of that plastic makes us dependent on polymers that feature a particularly environmentally unfriendly ingredient: oil. Marc Dubé, professor and vice-dean (research) in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa, is working to find environmentally friendly alternatives to petroleum-based polymers. He is focused on turning organic wastes, including citrus fruit peels and wood waste, into useful, sustainable polymers. Along with his research group, Dubé is spearheading sustainable polymer innovation in Canada and finding cleaner ways to make a group of products we can’t live without.

“I want to make useful polymers more efficient while using less energy, and eliminate leaching of toxic chemicals when they are retired to the landfill. Then we will really be heading into a greener future.”
Marc Dubé
Professor and Vice-Dean (Research), Faculty of Engineering, University of Ottawa
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