Griffin Drake

Griffin Drake is a PhD candidate who studies the chemistry underlying plastic deconstruction to develop new catalytic strategies that depolymerize waste plastics and chemically “upcycle” these materials. This work is important to meeting the goals of decarbonizing our energy sector and building sustainable solutions for the chemicals industry. As a MathWorks Fellow, Griffin will expand his investigations of polyolefins, a class of plastics with desirable material properties that are highly resistant to degradation. His primary goal is to create a new method of polyolefin deconstruction via hydrogenolysis through interconnected experimental kinetic measurements and kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) reaction network modeling. His kMC model, developed in MATLAB, enables him to simulate polymer deconstruction. Aspects of his kMC model may be generalizable to a wide variety of depolymerization chemistries, providing a toolbox for both academic and practical treatments of deconstruction systems. Overall, Griffin’s work could offer important insights that help to address energy and manufacturing needs and the growing environmental and economic challenges of plastic waste.



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