The COVID-19 pandemic heightened the usage of single-use plastics, escalating environmental pollution and health threats. Addressing this, Precious Plastic developed a straightforward, solvent-free hydrothermal process to convert polyethylene plastic bags and polypropylene surgical masks into carbon dots (CDs) at a 96% yield. These CDs can dissolve in water and other liquids, and they remain stable under heat and light. The method uniquely upcycles contaminated plastics with organic waste, overcoming a significant recycling hurdle. Testing in anti-counterfeiting applications, applying CDs to fluorescent, stretchable films, demonstrates the process’s practicality, scalability, and resistance to contamination.
Mahmoud Elbeh, a senior at NYU Abu Dhabi, is majoring in bioengineering and has dedicated three years to the Lab for Advanced Neuroengineering and Translational Medicine, with plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical or bioengineering after graduation. Currently, he is the chair of NYUAD’s Engineering Academic Committee and is the former president of the BMES chapter in Abu Dhabi. Mahmoud's research spans diverse subjects such as the circular economy, green chemistry, computational biology, and translational research. He is an advocate for upcycling and emphasizes the necessity of a multidisciplinary approach to tackling the significant global challenges we face. moreLinkedIn
Prof. Khalil Ramadi is Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at New York University Abu Dhabi and Director of the Laboratory for Neuroengineering and Translational Medicine. Prof. Ramadi’s research centers on developing technologies that solve clinical problems and advance human health. Beyond the bench, he leads research on health entrepreneurship and medical innovations, and is a board member and former co-Director of MIT Hacking Medicine, a group dedicated to enabling multi-disciplinary health entrepreneurship worldwide. Dr. Ramadi obtained his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at MIT and has been named a TED Fellow, CIFAR Global Scholar, MIT TR IU 35 (MENA), and NIH F32 Postdoctoral Fellow. more
Mohammed Abdelhameed is an experienced professional with a Ph.D. in Chemical & Biochemical Engineering and an M.Sc. in Chemistry, specializing in projects focused on sustainability and environmental conservation. He leads a pioneering initiative at the forefront of the sustainability movement, dedicated to upcycling various types of plastic waste into valuable products. His active involvement in this endeavor includes developing inventive solutions for converting plastic waste, such as bags and masks, into profitable and environmentally beneficial materials. Leveraging his extensive experience in chemical engineering and chemistry, Mohammed plays a pivotal role in shaping these materials, which find diverse applications ranging from anti-counterfeit labels to bioimaging and smart concrete. This multifaceted approach underscores the transformative potential of plastic upcycling. moreLinkedIn