Plastic recycling, Biomass conversion, Biodegradable Polymers, Microplastic Pollutant Prevention, Safer Solvent Design, Lifecycle Assessment.
Chemical and biological recycling of plastics; Plastic degradation; Renewable fuels, plastics and additives synthesis; Safe/green solvent formulations; Microplastic transport and fate; Lifecycle assessment and techno-economic analyses of organic waste treatment technologies
Wan-Ting (Grace) Chen, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the department of Plastics Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell), where she directs the Plastics & Environment Research Laboratory. Grace received her B.Sc in Chemical Engineering from National Taiwan University, M.S. and Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a postdoctoral training in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.
Her research group has extensive experience in the sustainability area. Prof. Chen's current research focuses on four topics:
Her lab is equipped with reactors for hydrothermal processing of plastic waste and biowaste, as well as characterizations for fuel/polymers/thin films/microplastics. In addition, her lab also has a license to a specialized software, Hansen Solubility Parameters in Practice (HSPiP), to study polymer dissolution/precipitation behavior, coating removal, polymer diffusion, and packaging failure mechanisms. The Chen Group's research program contributes to the development of new multi-disciplinary materials on the topic of plastic waste recycling, biobased plastic material, and sustainability analysis. Prof. Chen is affiliated with American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), American Chemical Society (ACS), Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), and American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers (ASABE). To date, she has published 30+ peer-reviewed articles, one book chapter, and one U.S. patent, with a total citation of 1600+ and an H-index of 20.