Solvent-targeted Recovery and Precipitation (STRAP) Application

For Prof. Ezra Bar-Ziv, there is no garbage—just raw material with value waiting to be unlocked through engineering.

April 2023: Ezra Bar-Ziv is principal investigator (PI) on a 3-year project that received a $549,954 research and development grant from NSF, “Continous Process for Solvent-Targeted Recovery and Precipitation (STRAP) for Plastic Wastes using Green Solvents.”

“Instead of plant biomass as a feedstock at $120 per ton, we decided to use municipal solid waste that the consumer, industry, or households are paying to get rid of. We changed the business model.”Ezra Bar-Ziv

Applications of STRAP: Green Solvents, Municipal Solid Waste, and Disposable Face Masks

From shoes to pen caps to meat wrappers—90 percent of plastics end up in the trash.

Researcher Ezra Bar-Ziv and his team of students have joined a multi-university regional effort to do something about it.

They’re hard at work scaling up a process development unit that will prove the commercial viability of STRAP: solvent targeted recovery and precipitation. In every application, Bar-Ziv keeps economic value at the core to ensure the result has a direct application in the market.

STRAP Method

Developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by George Huber, Richard L. Antoine Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, STRAP can restore contaminated plastics, including foodgrade materials, to their original state for reuse.

Current Awards

Bar-Ziv has received over $7 million in federal, state, and private funding, including $549,954 from the National Science Foundation; $320,658 from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and $2.4 million from the US Department of Energy.

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Continuous Process for Solvent-Targeted Recovery and Precipitation (STRAP) for Plastic Wastes using Green Solvents


Solvent Targeted Recovery and Precipitation (STRAP) For Plastic Removal from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)


Solvent Targeted Recovery and Precipitation (STRAP) For Recovery of Biogenic Materials and Plastics from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)


Principal Investigator

Ezra Bar-Ziv


Ezra Bar-Ziv

  • Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • PhD, The Weizmann Institute of Science


Dr. Ezra Bar-Ziv joined the MAE Department as a professor in 2011, coming to Michigan Tech from BenGurion University. Bar-Ziv held several post doctoral associate positions. He was the director and founder of the program for Projects in Industry, the Program for High-Tech Retraining, and the chair and founder of the Department of Biotechnology and Environmental Engineering at BenGurion University. He was the Clyde Chair in Chemical Engineering during his sabbatical at University of Utah in 2005- 2006 and then served as Associate Dean for Academic Development and Research at the College of Engineering Sciences at Ben-Gurion University. Dr. Bar-Ziv founded three start-up companies on waste valorization and led the largest torrefaction facility in the United States for Portland General Electric. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of advanced energy systems, including municipal waste valorization, coal combustion, gasification, pollution reduction, and biomass torrefaction, for the power industry and large stationary systems. He earned his PhD in Chemical Physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

Research Team

Fei Long


Fei Long

  • Assistant Teaching Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • PhD Shanghai Jiaotong University


Assistant Teaching Professor Fei Long joined the MAE Department in 2013, first as a post-doctoral research associate for one year, and then as an instructor and faculty member. His areas of research expertise include nanomaterials and scanning probe microscopy, sustainable manufacturing, Machine Learning, and waste characterization and recycling. Long earned his PhD from Shanghai Jiaotong University in China in 2011, then served as an application scientist for two years in the Nano Surfaces Division, Bruker Co., which manufactures scientific instruments. In 2021 he received the Mechanical Engineering Teacher of the Year Award, an honor given by Michigan Tech mechanical engineering students and conducted by the MAE Department’s student advisory committee.

Project Alumni

  • Stas Zinchik, PhD—Founder and Principal, ZiTechnologies
  • Shreyas Kolapokar, PhD—Senior Carbon Conversion Engineer, Arbor
  • Zhuo Xu, PhD—Postdoctoral Researcher on Wastes, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Watch STRAP Video Proposal video
Preview image for STRAP Video Proposal video

STRAP Video Proposal

Center for Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics
Fact Sheet

Recycling of Plastic Films through Solvent Targeted Recovery and Precipitation

Zhuo Xu1, Kevin L. Sanchez-Rivera2, Aurora Munguia-Lopez2, Marty Ochs3, Kevin Nelson4, Reid Van Lehnsup2, Ezra Bar-Ziv1, Horacio A. Aguirre-Villegas2, George W. Huber2

1Michigan Technological University, 2University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3Green Bay Innovation Group, 4Amcor

“Sustainability is a collaborative effort. It is critical that the companies in the plastic industry work together with academia and government agencies to bring innovative recycling technologies to the market.”George W. Huber
“We keep it connected to the economic drivers, starting with an economic assessment. If it makes ‘cents + sense’ and meets a market need, we go all the way—forming alliances with industry partners and other universities to help achieve our vision and realize the best results.”Ezra Bar-Ziv, Michigan Tech MAE Annual Report

MTUengineering Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering