About Us

The Initiative on Plastic Recycling Research and Innovation (IPRRI) is a multidisciplinary, convergence science-based initiative addressing a range of contemporary issues related to plastics recycling, with the goal of advancing plastics recycling in NY state and beyond. It is also designated as a New York State (NYS) Center on Plastics Recycling Research & Innovation by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation. 

As a convergent research-based initiative, IPRRI brings together disciplines of operations research, environmental engineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, economics, physics and communications to address plastics recycling.

IPRRI conducts leading research with broad-ranging impact in the following multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary areas:

  • Logistics and supply chain issues, economics and efficiency in collecting and processing plastics.
  • Detailed understanding and mitigation of plastics in natural environments, including, water and wastewater, and in the agriculture, food and medical industries.
  • Advanced understanding and applications of behavioral science to plastics recycling behaviors and developing impactful campaigns to encourage recycling and to recycle correctly. 
  • Developing leading process and technology for high-speed plastics sorting.
  • Developing leading process and technology for chemical plastics recycling
a plastic bottle being thrown into a recycling bin.


Amit Goyal.

Amit Goyal, PhD, MBA is the principal investigator (PI) and director of the Initiative for Plastics Recycling Research and Innovation, a NYS Center for Plastics Recycling and Innovation, a fully externally-funded center at a level of $1.5 million per year. Goyal also serves as the director of Plastics Recycling and Waste Tire Recycling Projects supported by the DEC at UB since 2019.

Goyal is a SUNY Distinguished Professor and SUNY Empire Innovation Professor in the department of chemical and biological engineering at the university. Previously, he served as the founding director of the internally-funded, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary university-wide Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water (RENEW) institute from 2015 to 2021. Under Goyal's leadership, RENEW hired 19 interdisciplinary faculty with specific areas of expertise targeted to fill technical gaps identified during the Institute's strategic planning. In addition, the Institute helped develop and submit over 400 external research grant proposals, 600 publications and over 400 presentations. RENEW also secured tens of millions of dollars in external funds. The Institute's external engagement included a sponsored project of ~$2 million with the City of Buffalo, corporate interaction, and collaborations with international universities. In recognition of extraordinary service to the university, he was awarded the UB President’s Medal, which recognizes "outstanding scholarly or artistic achievements, humanitarian acts, contributions of time or treasure, exemplary leadership or any other major contribution to the development of the University at Buffalo and the quality of life in the UB community.” This is one of the highest recognitions given at the university.

Goyal is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and elected Fellow of ten professional societies: the National Academy of Inventors, American Association for Advancement of Science, Materials Research Society, American Physical Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, World Innovation Foundation, American Society of Metals, Institute of Physics, American Ceramic Society and the World Technology Network. 

Goyal has authored over 360 technical publications and has 88 issued patents, including 70 in the US and 18 internationally. He also has over 20 pending patents. Most of his 88 patents have been licensed. He was the worldwide most cited author in the field of high-temperature superconductivity from 1999 to 2009. He has received 10 R&D100 Awards (viewed as the highest recognition for technological innovation). In 2010, he received the R&D magazine's Inventor of the Year award, one of the most prestigious awards for technological innovation and commercialization, for sustained cumulative innovations. Over the course of his career, Goyal has competitively received more than $50 million in research funding related to his research. He has received several accolades, including the US presidential level Department of Energy's (DOE) E.O. Lawrence Award in the inaugural category of Energy Science and Innovation.