Sustainably Speaking: Driving Toward Automotive Circularity

Soydan Ozcan, Senior Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory discusses its new partnership with the American Chemistry Council to explore ways to capture, recycle and remake more plastic from our old vehicles.

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The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is one of the 17 Department of Energy laboratories. It has the largest multi-program science and energy research lab in the U.S.

On this latest episode of Sustainably Speaking, we discuss the new partnership between Oak Ridge and the American Chemistry Council. The partnership looks to answer the question of what to do with materials from our old cars and trucks once they reach the end of their useful life while exploring ways to capture, recycle and remake more plastic and plastic composites from these vehicles.

Together, the two organizations will help develop circular solutions for plastics and plastic composites in the automotive industry, exploring what modern recycling technologies (like advanced recycling!) can offer.

Host Mia Quinn is joined by Soydan Ozcan, Senior R&D Scientist in the Manufacturing Science Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and co-host Gina Oliver, senior director of curable markets advocacy at American Chemistry Council. They’ll discuss how they plan to create circular systems that can be applied across multiple industries.

On This Episode:

Soydan Ozcan, Senior R&D Scientist in the Manufacturing Science Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Soydan Ozcan is currently the Thrust Lead for Development of Bio-Derived Materials & Manufacturing at the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) located at Oak Ridge. His research addresses the broad and vital issue of identifying novel, high-value biomaterials from renewable sources, and viable processes for their preparation for composite and additive manufacturing applications towards zero waste.

Ozcan also leads the Composite Recycling Effort for the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing Composite Innovation (IACMI). IACMI is the national Composite Institute within Manufacturing USA, which helps U.S. manufacturers employ leading-edge technology to become more competitive. In this scope, Ozcan facilitates the development of composite recycling technologies and utilizes various composite techniques to repurpose them into useful applications. Ozcan and his team are developing manufacturing techniques and exploring new materials to improve energy efficiency during composite manufacturing, decrease material waste, lower costs, and improve material performance. Ozcan’s team is integrating a smart circular economy concept within product development, production processes, use, and re-use systems right from the beginning.

Mia Quinn, Senior Director, Plastics Division at American Chemistry Council

Mia Quinn leads efforts to communicate the plastics industry’s major sustainability initiatives. She works to bring together experts to share insights in key areas of sustainability, including public policy, product design, recycling, and infrastructure.

She is passionate about collaboration, clear communications, and engaging audiences to learn more about and advocate for innovation and modern solutions for our communities and our country.

Mia has a degree in political science from Washington University in St. Louis. She grew up in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado and is a lifelong Denver Broncos fan. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two sons.

Gina Oliver Senior, Director of Durable Markets Advocacy at American Chemistry Council

Gina Oliver is the Senior Director for the American Chemistry Council’s Durable Markets Advocacy Team. She leads advocacy on behalf of the durable plastics industry, who provide the innovative, sustainable material solutions that are essential to solving some of society’s biggest challenges, including CO2 emissions reduction and advancing a circular economy for durable plastics.

In her spare time, Gina sits on the Women in Government Relations Transportation and Infrastructure Task Force, Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation Consortium Council, and the Global Automotive Steering Group - the governing body for the Global Automotive Declarable Substance List. She is also a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Society of Automotive Engineers, Women in Government Relations, and American Society of Association Executives.


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