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Design for Circularity: Importance of material properties for the recyclability of plastic products

  • TITLE: Design for Circularity: Importance of material properties for the recyclability of plastic products

  • HOST: Technical University of Denmark (Denmark)

  • MAIN SUPERVISORS: Prof. dr. Thomas Astrup, dr. Anders Damgaard (DTU) 

  • CO-SUPERVISOR: Prof. dr. Kim Ragaert (UG)

  • START DATE: 01.04.2020

  • DURATION: 36 months

  • REQUIRED DEGREE: Candidates should have a two year Master’s degree or a degree corresponding to this. The degree must be within Engineering or Science.

  • REQUIRED SKILLS/QUALIFICATIONS: The applicant must have analytical skills, research potential, be well-organized and enterprising and possess good interpersonal skills needed to collaborate with other university departments, authorities and private companies. The applicant must master spoken and written English. The candidate should have laboratory experience within material and/or waste characterization, as well as lab investigations on material properties and functionality. This includes representative sampling, sample processing, physico-chemical analysis, material property testing and evaluation. The candidate should be able to put this into a larger system perspective.

  • DESCRIPTION: The PhD includes the following activities: literature review, methodology development, experimental research, writing of articles, teaching, courses, dissemination of research at workshops and conferences.
    The main activities will take place in the section of Residual Research Engineering at the DTU department of Environmental Engineering. The starting point for the work is experimental, but the work is expected to be analyzed in a systems perspective.

  • OBJECTIVES: The objective is to investigate the requirements for real circularity of plastic materials and products. The focus will be placed on plastic recyclability and material functionality based on physico-chemical characterization of selected plastic, quantification of circularity and recommendations for design in view of collection and recovery strategies. The first aim is to identify key barriers for circularity of plastics with regards to functionality, legal requirements and recovery options. Secondly, chemical and product design requirements for an increased circularity potential in future products will be investigated. Finally recommendations for improved design in view of collection and recovery options will be provided. 

  • PLANNED SECONDMENTS: Collaboration with Danish company Coloplast for case-study on material design. The secondment at UG focuses on design from recycled plastics

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