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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT Chemical Engineer Xanthos Named Fellow: Newest Research Converts Recycled Plastic Soda Bottles To Styrofoam Building Insulation

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) recently named plastics expert Marino Xanthos, Ph.D., a Society Fellow. Xanthos, a professor of chemical engineering and director of the Polymer Processing Institute (PPI) at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), works on finding new applications for recycled plastics.

Xanthos’ newest project has been to find new uses for plastic soda bottles. He recently modified these bottles to produce a new kind of residential and industrial insulation. Industrial chemical engineers throughout the region have expressed interest in licensing the product.

(Attention Editors: For more information about the conversion process and a walk through the lab, contact Sheryl Weinstein at 973-994-3257.)

Xanthos was named a Fellow at the annual SPE meeting and technical conference held last month in Nashville. Although more than 25,000 members belong to SPE, only 210 of them have been elected to the status of Fellow since the honor was established in 1984. Xanthos, a member since 1985, was elected not only for his research in polymer modification, but for helping this branch of chemical engineering, known as polymer engineering, advance as an academic discipline.

Since 1988, Xanthos has directed research for PPI where he supervises a staff of 15 professionals and graduate assistants in industry and government-sponsored research. The research typically focuses on polymer processing, development and recycling.

Xanthos received his doctoral and master’s degrees from the department of chemical engineering and applied chemistry at University of Toronto. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Xanthos holds three U.S. and two Canadian patents and has been a regular technical consultant since 1987 to companies such as Elf-Atochem (France), Colgate-Palmolive, Roche Diagnostics, AT&T, Shell Chemical Co. and Cytec.

The NJIT Student Chapter of SPE presented at the same meeting 10 technical papers that were published in the proceedings of the Society’s annual technical conference. The students operated a booth displaying research achievements and activities. Xanthos said that the students made contacts with polymer engineers in higher education from schools, such as the University of Tennessee and the University of Akron, and companies including Owens Corning, Aspen Material and Ciba Specialty Chemicals.

Among the student presenters were undergraduates Jenny Jun, of Palisades Park, who focused on cross-linked, low-density polyethylene blends, Keino Hamilton, of Bloomfield, who talked about polypropylene with inorganic clays, and graduate student Georgia Chouzouri, of Kearny, who spoke about biodegradable polyesters. The student research was supported through scholarships of the Palisades section of SPE.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.