In polymeric materials, a fundamental transition is required from synthesis out of fossil-based feedstock and one time use to continuous re-use of polymeric products. Most of the plastics that is recycled currently goes through mechanical and thermal processing to re-make other plastic products, e.g., thermoplastics such as PE, PP, PET. Thermosetting plastics and resins cannot be easily chemically or mechanically recycled. Chemical recycling for instance requires much energy and harsh reaction conditions, and creates an inseparable mixture of oligomers.
In this project, the focus of the research will be on existing polymers as well as designing and synthesis of novel thermosetting polymers more amenable to recycling, including smart new monomers that can switch between polymerized and depolymerized states, using energy efficient processes. The key is incorporation of suitable degradable functional groups or smart monomers into the polymers in their design stage (”design for recycling’’ approach). The research will include the design and synthesis of new monomers including the use of bio-based raw materials, preparation of thermosets and elucidation of structure-property relationships, chemical depolymerization, separation and recovery of building blocks and proof of concept for “closed-loop” recycling. Furthermore, the research effort will be also directed towards the development of novel recyclable coating systems with desired surface energy which can be recycled using chemical depolymerization. The research activities will include understanding of performance profile of new materials and elucidation of structure property relationships by means of various chemical, structural, rheological, mechanical and surface characterization techniques.
The research will be conducted in close collaboration between two TU/e research groups: Polymer Performance Materials (SPM) and Physical Chemistry (SPC) which are part of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at the TU/e (The Netherlands).
A description of the groups can be found here.
The TU/e offers academic education that is driven by fundamental and applied research. We combine scientific curiosity with a hands-on mentality. Our educational philosophy is based on personal attention and room for individual ambitions and talents. Our research meets the highest international standards of quality. We push the limits of science, which puts us at the forefront of rapidly emerging areas of research.
Interviews, a scientific presentation and a small writing assignment will be part of the selection procedure.
We offer challenging jobs in a highly motivated international teams at a dynamic and ambitious university. You will work with innovative analytic equipment, and you will be part of a highly profiled multidisciplinary collaboration where expertise of a variety of disciplines comes together. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station.
The TU/e is located in one of the smartest regions of the world and part of the European technology hotspot ‘Brainport Eindhoven’; well-known because of many high-tech industries and start-ups. A place to be for talented scientists!
In addition, we offer you:
Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow.
Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact prof. Željko Tomović (z.tomovic[at]tue.nl) or dr. A.C.C. (Catarina) Esteves (a.c.c.esteves[at]tue.nl).
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