PhD in Chemical Recycling of Polymers

Organization: Eindhoven University of Technology
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
Pay/Volunteer: A gross monthly salary (€2.443,- to €3.122,-) and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
Deadline: 10/04/2022
Description: No other man-made material has revolutionized social, industrial, as well as environmental aspects of humankind in such a short period of time as plastics. Polymeric materials can be found in almost every industrial sector ranging from food packaging to spaceships. Thus, a life without polymers as the ultimate resource of convenience seems unimaginable today. At the same time, effective recycling strategies are urgently required to tackle the issue of plastic pollution and to create the foundation of a sustainable society. Amongst established methods of plastic waste treatment, chemical recycling of polymers with the aim to recover the original monomeric species is highly sought-after. This recycling method allows for the production of fresh polymer products without loss of quality and resources.

In this PhD project, you will develop innovative methods to recycle and/or upcycle traditional polymers as well as design novel polymeric structures that are more amenable to recycling (”design for recycling’’ approach). Your research will include the synthesis of smart monomers that can switch between polymerized and depolymerized states as well as introducing functional groups into polymeric backbones that can be cleaved under selected conditions. To enable efficient (de)polymerization reactions, you will use highly active and state-of-the-art photo- and organocatalysts. Furthermore, you will apply various characterization techniques available in our laboratories to gain a full understanding of the properties of new polymeric materials. You will conduct this research as a valuable team member of our young and ambitious Polymer Performance Materials research group at Eindhoven University of Technology.
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