Plastics are an essential part of modern society. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of these materials is recycled (9%) the rest are incinerated (12%) and released to the environment (79%). While conventional recycling can be increased, the inferior properties of the recycled materials, relative to virgin plastics, hinders economic profitability. In this project we will tackle this issue by developing new materials and processes that can chemically "upcycle" plastics into added value products in foams stabilized by catalysts.
In this project, funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) as part of the Talent Scheme VIDI, you will apply amphiphobic catalysts that can stabilize gas-liquid interfaces to study the formation of foams and their fluid dynamic behavior using high-speed thermal microscopy on micro-channel flow-reactors coupled to ex-situ analytics using HPLC and GC-MS. In this project you will design, construct, and test a new micro-channel reactor system that can generate foams stabilized by particles. These solids should act as foam stabilizers to produce high-surface area gas-liquid-solid contacting reactors. We expect the candidate to achieve an excellent control over the stabilization of the foams and develop a fundamental understanding of the fluid-foam-particle-activity relationships. We expect the candidate to have an entrepreneurial and science-oriented spirit, so that we can bring the benefits of this technology quickly to the end-users collaborating in the project.
The work will be carried out in the University of Twente (The Netherlands) in the Multiphasic Catalysis and Reactions (MCR) group of Dr. ir. J.A. Faria within the Catalytic Process and Materials department in the Faculty of Science and Technology.
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