Circular Economy

Converting wastes into valuable resources throughout the supply chain to shift toward a closed-loop economy in which resources are conserved and environmental impacts are minimized

Our researchers are identifying novel ways to recover and recycle industrial and agricultural wastes as feedstocks for the production of new and reused materials or energy resources. Sustainability isn’t guaranteed just because a material is recyclable — it depends on the value chain processes. We combine advanced tools such as life-cycle assessment, multi-scale modeling and data analytics to evaluate the costs, benefits and hidden consequences of these processes.

World Without Waste Workshop
  • May 6, 10, 12, 2021

Moving from the old “take-make-waste” model to a circular economy will require deeply multidisciplinary thinking that encompasses technology, logistics, human social behavior, and much more. This summer, Ohio State will host a series of convergence workshops  focused on the life cycles of plastic, creating a space for innovative approaches, diverse partnerships, and ultimately a new meta-science.


Ohio State engineers developed chemical looping, a process that uses metal oxide particles in high-pressure reactors to “burn” fossil fuels and biomass without the presence of oxygen in the air, for production of syngas, which in turn provides the building blocks for a host of other useful products including ammonia, plastics or even carbon fibers.


We are developing near-term and future corn stover-based feedstock supply systems for biofuels that are technically sound, economic and sustainable.


Ohio State is part of a $70 million research consortium that is developing innovative approaches to reduce energy use and emissions in industrial supply chains, thus improving manufacturing competitiveness. We investigate advanced manufacturing and materials optimization for reuse to reduce in-process losses, reuse scrap materials, and utilize secondary feedstocks in manufacturing.