Grow Bioplastics - CEO, Co-Founder
I am the proud Co Founder of Grow Bioplastics, LLC, a startup looking to improve the sustainability of our food system by producing biodegradable plastic mulch films for the farming industry. Our technology uses lignin, a waste product from the paper and biofuel industry, to create a biodegradable polymer that we can use to replace oil based plastics. The added benefit of our materials is that at the end of the season, instead of farmers paying to remove these films from their fields, they can simply plow them under where they will break down naturally, saving farmers at least $100 an acre.
I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Energy Science & Engineering through the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. My research is in the field of biomass chemistry, with a focus on uniting the principles of green chemistry and sustainable materials through the upgrading of bio-based chemical feedstocks to higher value materials. I am using my interdisciplinary education to help develop and commercialize bio-derived alternatives and drop-in replacements to the wide array of high-value chemicals and materials currently derived from petroleum, as these technologies will be a key pillar of the rapidly emerging biorefinery industry. In addition to research, I have a keen interest in entrepreneurship and science commercialization.