In mechanical recycling of polyolefins, it is a common challenge that the main material (often PE) is contaminated with other polymers, originating from either mis sorting or multilayer products. The presence of these other polymers will interfere with the properties and processing of the recyclate. Often, additives like compatibilizers are added to regain adequate properties of the recyclate material. Within this PhD, we aim to gain full structural understanding of how these three components (main recycled polymer, contaminating polymer and additive) interact with one another throughout the recycling process.
The objective is to gain a scientific understanding on how frequently used additives for mechanical recycling of mixed plastics (e.g. impact modifiers and compatibilizers) will behave in the newly generated ternary blend (including after multiple recycling cycles). Effects of structure-property relationships, degradation and processing techniques will be considered.
MUL for the evaluation of the applicability of inline-NIR spectroscopy in the compounder to detect additives and even quantify additive concentrations within the ternary blend (M25-M30); Netzsch for the evaluation of the transferability of lab-scale results to industrial-scale equipment (M32-M33).
Profile of the candidate
The candidate is at minimum knowledgeable in the following domains related to the science of thermoplastic polymers:structure-property-processing relationships; deformation mechanisms; processing techniques (focus extrusion and film blowing); characterization techniques (both mechanical and physico-chemical)
Knowledge in the following domains is preferred, but not strictly required: specialization on polyolefines; mechanical recycling of polymers; processing and properties of blended thermoplastics
How to apply
Applicants need to complete an application form (www.c-planet.eu) including:
- A detailed CV listing education, work experience, publications, relevant other activities, … (Europass format obliged)
- Motivation: a) why you want to do a PhD?; b) why are you applying for this specific topic?
- A language certificate (IELTS min. 7, TOEFL internet-based min. 90 or similar level as proven by other tests), if available
- At least one recommendation letter (academic reference)
- Transcript(s) of previous academic records
Applicants need to fully respect three eligibility criteria (to be demonstrated in the CV):
- Early-stage researchers (ESR) are those who are, at the time of recruitment by the host, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers. This is measured from the date when they obtained the degree which formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate was envisaged.
- Conditions of international mobility of researchers: Researchers are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment. At the time of selection by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.
- English language: Network fellows (ESRs) must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training.
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