Monthly Meeting

Next meeting:

Tuesday, October 10

Host Your Own Virtual Meeting

Grants are available for institutions that broadcast our Technical Program.

Technical Program

Dr. Hilal Ezgi Toraman

Assistant Professor of Energy Engineering and Chemical Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University

Read Full Bio

“Addressing the Plastic Waste Challenge: The Vital Role of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy – A Chemical Engineer’s Perspective”

The worldwide production and consumption of synthetic polymers have increased steadily over the last few decades with an estimated 380 million metric tons (MMT) in 2015 compared to 2 MMT in 1950 [1]. The generation of plastic waste is increasing at an alarming rate due to the extensive usage of plastics. Plastics are one of the major contributors to the waste management problem on land and in oceans. It is thus imperative to improve ways to efficiently recycle the post-consumer plastics. Currently only 10% of waste plastic generated world-wide is being recycled. To achieve sustainability and promote circularity of plastics, it becomes imperative to recycle the post-consumer plastics. Pyrolysis being a promising chemical recycling technology is in the forefront to recycle mixed plastic waste streams due to its economic viability and robustness.

The separation of pyrolysis products is typically carried out using one-dimensional gas chromatography (1D-GC) coupled to different detectors such as mass spectrometry, flame ionization detector, etc. Nevertheless, 1D-GC does not necessarily provide accurate and comprehensive information related to all the pyrolysis compounds due to relatively lower resolution and overlapping peaks. Alternately, two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) enables higher resolution of products using selected two different packing types and minimizes coelution of compounds. The GC×GC method development is essential to obtain accurate characterization data for analyzing pyrolyzates produced during the pyrolysis of polymers and hence to develop efficient and reliable recycling and upcycling strategies for valorization of plastic waste.

In this talk, I will show how GC×GC coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometer detector (TOF-MS) and flame ionization detector (FID) can provide detailed characterization of pyrolysis oil composition, to identify possible contaminants and help to refine process design.

Attend In-Person

The monthly meeting will be held in the Power Center Ballroom, Duquesne University. Registration for dinner is required.

Please pay for your meal with cash at the time of the meeting. $5 for students; $10 for all others.


5:00 pm – Social Hour
6:00 pm – Dinner
6:45 pm – Business Meeting
7:15 pm – Technical Program

Attend Virtually

The monthly meeting Technical Program is accessible via the Zoom platform.

Pre-registration required. Link will be emailed.
6:45 pm – Business Meeting
7:15 pm – Technical Program

PARKING: Duquesne University Parking Garage entrance is on Forbes Avenue. The Power Center can be accessed from the 8th Floor of the Forbes Garage. Bring your parking ticket to the dinner or meeting for a validation sticker.If there is a special event, please note that you are there for the SACP/SSP meeting.

About the Program Speaker

Dr. Hilal Ezgi Toraman, Wilson Faculty Fellow is an Assistant Professor of Energy Engineering and Chemical Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Toraman is the Elected Director for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE) Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division and Elected President of Pittsburgh-Cleveland Catalysis Society (PCCS). She is the member of the International Editorial Board for Fuel Communications and ACS Engineering Au. Dr. Toraman’s research is in the field of chemical reaction engineering and catalysis with a focus on developing new processes, materials and technologies for efficient and sustainable use of non-traditional feedstocks such as shale gas, biogas, biomass and plastic waste. Dr. Toraman has received prestigious recognition and awards from prominent organizations in the field of chemistry and chemical engineering. She has been selected to receive the Virginia S. and Philip L. Walker Jr. Faculty Fellowship in Materials Science and Engineering and the Fuel Science Program at Penn State University. She has been acknowledged as a Rising Star by the American Chemical Society’s Division of Energy & Fuels, and was recently selected as one of the 2023 Pioneers of Catalysis and Reaction Engineering (CRE) in the honorary session by the CRE division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Additionally, Dr. Toraman has been honored by being recognized in Chemical & Engineering News’ esteemed list of Talented 12 in 2023. Toraman was selected for her research in technologies that turn waste into fuels, chemicals and other products.

Prior to joining the Penn State faculty, Dr. Toraman served as a postdoctoral researcher with the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Delaware Energy Institute at the University of Delaware. She received her B.S. and M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Middle East Technical University, Türkiye (Turkey). She received her Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from Ghent University, Belgium.