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ESR 10

ESR 10
Chemical recycling of plastic waste by reactor and catalyst engineering

  • TITLE: Chemical recycling of plastic waste by reactor and catalyst engineering

  • HOST: Ghent University (Belgium)

  • MAIN SUPERVISOR: Prof. dr. K. Van Geem (UG)  

  • CO-SUPERVISOR: Prof. dr. A. Lemonidou (AUTH)

  • START DATE: 01.04.2020

  • DURATION: 36 months

  • REQUIRED DEGREE: Master of science in chemical engineering, Master of Science degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, Master of Science degree (or equivalent) in mechanical engineering


    • Knowledge or prior experience in analytical chemistry, organic chemical synthesis, and/or chemical engineering

    • Excellent communication and organization skills

    • Fluent in written and spoken English

    • Strong team player skills and enthusiasm about working self-dependently in interdisciplinary environments

  • DESCRIPTION: Marine/beach plastics will be converted in liquid energy carriers and chemicals via (catalytic) pyrolysis. Different reactor technologies such as a conventional fluidized and a new, disruptive reactor concept making use of rotating beds will be used. In the integrated approach of the problem, besides kinetic modeling and reactor engineering, focus will be given on the optimal feedstock selection to optimize individual yields of desired product(s) depending on the feed (thermosetting versus thermo-softening polymer). Next to the development of the reactor technologies, efforts will be made on the further catalytic upgrade of pyrolysis oil fraction, purification and separation of valuable compounds.

  • OBJECTIVES: Chemical recycling will become one of the key technologies to enable the EU ambitions towards a circular economy. Therefore, novel reactors and catalysts need to be designed able to convert plastic waste to valuable gaseous or liquid products for in situ and ex-situ (catalytic) pyrolysis. By performing well-chosen experiments in combination with theoretical work, optimal chemical recycling strategies will be selected. UG’s and AUTH’s creativity and expertise in experimentation and modelling will produce ground-breaking results and concepts. 

  • PLANNED SECONDMENTS: AUTH for catalyst synthesis and characterization of novel high selective aluminosilicates (M13-M18), AVGI for modelling of chemical recycling processes (M36-M38)

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