PhD candidate: synthesis and evaluation of biobased copolymers in the EU project CUMERI

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 31 Oct 2022

This project is part of the European project CUMERI (Customised membranes for green and resilient industries) with 16 partners from both the public and the private sector.

Increased energy and resource efficiency in industrial sectors is paramount to build a resilient and sustainable future. In this context, the CUMERI project will develop and demonstrate advanced and customised membrane separation systems in two key industries: in the steel sector where H2 will be recovered and CO2 captured in one comprehensive system, and in the O&G industry where a two-step liquid filtration system will enable base oil and additives recovery from used lubricant oil.

The task of Maastricht University is to make bio-based and recyclable polymers for membranes for CO2 permeation, building further on the polyether-block-polyamide copolymer chemistry developed earlier in our labs. The role of the PhD student will be the synthesis and design of biobased copolymer precursors that can be processed into membranes with improved mechanical, thermal and permeation properties, as well as the chemical and physical polymer characterization. Recycling of the membrane polymers via chemical and enzymatic ways will also be studied. The PhD student will work closely together with Technalia in Spain who will use the developed polymers in order to process them into membranes. Based on their feedback, the synthesis work will be tuned. The candidate will also transfer its knowledge to partners responsible for upscaling of the polymers.

The PhD student will be appointed at the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials of Maastricht University, which is part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. You will work in the group of Associate Professor Katrien Bernaerts, which focusses on the synthesis and design of polymer materials with tunable properties and recyclability exploiting the functionality of biobased building blocks. You will operate from the Brightlands-Chemelot Campus in Geleen (Nl), where the labs are located.

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