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Sustainable News | with Ali Salifu and Mike Timko | WPI | Researchers turn bamboo into biofuel

 

Chemical Engineering Professor Mike Timko and Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Ali Salifu about their research that found bamboo can be converted into biofuel (at the 3:10 mark).

Researchers find ways to turn bamboo into biofuel

Newsy spoke with Chemical Engineering Professor Mike Timko and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Ali Salifu about their research that found bamboo can be converted into biofuel to power vehicles and generators.

Plastic-collecting ships could use the waste for fuel while cleaning up the ocean

The CBC Radio program Quirks & Quarks spoke with Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Michael Timko about his research to have ships remove plastic waste from the world’s oceans, and then chemically convert that waste into fuel that could power the plastic-collecting ships. Timko says this could significantly reduce the emissions associated with efforts to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

Clean Hydrogen Use Gaining Momentum in Countries

Chemical Engineering Professor Michael Timko spoke with U.S. News & World Report about the future of hydrogen energy. “I think that societally, we're just entranced with this silver bullet thinking… you’re hoping that each one's the perfect solution, when in fact, you're probably going to need a layered approach – lots of different solutions for different applications,” said Timko.

Can ocean cleanup boats power themselves by turning plastic into fuel?

New Atlas published an article about Professor Michael Timko’s research into the feasibility of converting plastic material found in the ocean into "blue diesel" that could power ships at sea.

An Eco-Friendly Guide to Yard Waste Removal

Martha Stewart Living cited work by Associate Chemical Engineering Professor Michael Timko in their online article. “What do you get when you mix food and yard waste? Hopefully a new eco-friendly source of biofuel. Michael Timko, a professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Worcester, Massachusetts, is working on a project—being funded by the Department of Energy to the tune of almost $2 million—to mix food waste with municipal green waste, such as yard trimmings, leaves, and sticks. By combining the two kinds of waste, Timko is aiming to create even more energy-dense oil that can be upgraded to a liquid biofuel.”

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Chemical Engineers: "Why Not Make Waste Work for Us?"

Nearly 80 media outlets, reported on research projects led by Michael Timko, associate professor of chemical engineering; Aaron Deskins, associate professor of chemical engineering; and Nikolaos Kazantzis, professor of chemical engineering, that explore finding applications for nitrogen-rich waste products and converting marine plastics into ship fuel.

These Metal-Based Catalysts Can Boost Biofuel Yields

·A thought leadership piece about how metal-based catalysts can boost biofuel yields by Mike Timko, associate professor of chemical engineering, was published in Biofuels Digest.

WPI awarded $3M for graduate data program

In the article, “WPI Awarded $3M for Graduate Data Program” the Worcester Business Journal reported on WPI using a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a unique graduate curriculum to train the next generation of scientists who can apply chemical sciences along with data analytics, mathematics, and computing power to reduce energy usage, waste, and pollution. Elke Rundensteiner, professor of computer science, founding director of the Data Science program, and principal investigator on the grant, is collaborating with Michael Timko and Aaron Deskins, associate professors of chemical engineering, and Randy Paffenroth, associate professor of mathematical and data sciences, among others.

WPI Chemical Engineer Receives $2M to Speed, Ease Genetic Engineering

More than 150 media outlets, including The Oklahoman and The Pittsburg Post-Gazette, reported on Eric Young, Leonard P. Kinnicutt Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at WPI, who received four separate grants totaling more than $2 million to support his research into using yeast and fungi to take on significant genetic engineering challenges. Through his research in synthetic biology, Young aims to engineer organisms to make it easier to develop numerous products, like medicines, biofuels, and plastics, and increase security by developing a new method to detect hidden underground explosives.

Many technologies needed to solve the climate crisis are nowhere near ready

Vox noted the work of Jennifer Wilcox, James H. Manning Chaired Professor of Chemical Engineering, and her team (scroll down to caption under Figure 4.5) in their article. 

The Latest Developments on Powering Our World with Green Waste: WPI Researchers Work on Catalytic Method for Conversion

Mike Timko, assistant professor of chemical engineering, wrote a special piece for Biofuels Digest on how people should consider biofuels instead of waste for power, following the goal behind his research of transforming food waste and yard waste into biofuel. 

Turning Yard and Food Waste into Fuel

WBUR spoke with chemical engineering professor Mike Timko about his research on food and yard waste. Timko and his team recently received $2M to see if both types of waste can make a more efficient biofuel.

WPI Prof Gets Grant to Work on Converting Waste to Fuel

The Telegram & Gazette reported on Professor Michael Timko, associate professor of chemical engineering, expanding his green energy research with a $2M Department of Energy grant. ​Timko is teaming up on the project with Andrew Teixeira, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and Geoffrey Tompsett, assistant research professor of chemical engineering.

Reverse Engineering the Climate Crisis Is Not Only Possible—It's Necessary

Jennifer Wilcox, the James H. Manning Chaired Professor, was interviewed for this Audubon article. (scroll down to 13th graph). The article noted her being coauthor of a report issued last year by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that calculated the negative emissions needed to avoid the most serious impacts of CO2-driven warming by 2100. “Wilcox says-working to grow forests, revamp agriculture, innovate technologies, and deploy every tool we have. As she puts it, “We need to do it all,’” the article stated.

WPI, UMass Lowell team to support $111K in research

The Worcester Business Journal reported on WPI and the University of Massachusetts Lowell partnering to award more than $111,000 in seed funding to six different teams, focusing on work ranging from human-robot collaboration to cancer detection and rehabilitation for stroke patients.

Professor Mike Timko: Waste Should Be Viewed as a Resource

Mike Timko, associate professor of chemical engineering, did a Q&A with Advanced Science News about his renewable fuels research. The article also sites Mike's video, "A World Without Waste," which was submitted to the NSF's 2026 Idea Machine competition earlier this year. 

 

Jennifer Wilcox: How Can We Remove CO2 From The Atmosphere? Will We Do It In Time?

National Public Radio’s TED Radio Hour featured a conversation with WPI’s Jennifer Wilcox, the James H. Manning Professor of Chemical Engineering and an internationally renowned expert on capturing and storing carbon dioxide, during its ‘Climate Crisis’ segment.

WPI Team Helping to Develop Technology to Detect GMOs in Wild

In this article, the Telegram & Gazette reported on Eric Young, assistant professor of chemical engineering, being part of a team developing a biosecurity tool that can detect engineered microorganisms based on their unique DNA signatures. “There’s this huge change in how civilization works” thanks to the advent of GMOs, he told the T&G, “and the dream is that it’s a much more sustainable way of producing things.”

Do 'mechanical trees' offer the cure for climate change?

Reuters quoted Jennifer Wilcox, the James H. Manning Chaired Professor, in the article. She noted in the article that a Dublin-based company’s pilot program to build 1,200 carbon-cleansing metal columns within a year would be the world's largest "direct air capture" operation to date.

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