Michael Timko

BS Chemical Engineering Ohio State University Honors and Distinction 1998
MS Chemical Engineering Practice Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 2001
PhD Chemical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 2004
Postdoc Harvard University 2004-2006
Expert Bio

Professor Timko studies the environmental and engineering aspects of clean energy technologies, with a specific emphasis on liquid transportation fuels. His work involves studying the fundamental chemical engineering science – including transport, phase behavior, and reactor design – to develop new technologies for converting under-utilized energy resources into fuels and chemicals. His work on a project exploring the feasibility of turning plastic waste from waterways into fuel to power the waste cleanup was profiled by WGBH and NBC Boston. He also is involved in analysis of technology to increase polystyrene recycling.

Recycling Today
Chemical engineers in US, UK analyze polystyrene recycling process

“Our analysis finds polystyrene to be an ideal candidate for a chemical recycling process.” – Professor Michael Timko on the study he authored with colleagues from the Department of Chemical Engineering and the University of Bath. The analysis found a simple and scalable technology could increase the viability of recycling products like food packaging and packing peanuts. WPI authors include Professor Nikolaos Kazantzis and PhD students Elizabeth Belden (’24) and Madison Reed. This analysis was also reported on in Plastics Today, Recycling Today, and The Business Magazine.

New polystyrene recycling process could be world's first to be both economical and energy-efficient

Analysis from researchers in the Department of Chemical Engineering and at the University of Bath suggests a new approach could dramatically increase the amount of polystyrene recycled. Their paper in the Chemical Engineering Journal finds a simple process combining pyrolysis and distillation has the potential to be a scalable, cost- and energy-efficient method of transforming old into new when it comes to polystyrene. WPI researchers include professors Michael Timko and Nikolaos Kazantzis and PhD students Elizabeth Belden (’24) and Madison Reed.


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