Nowadays, thermosetting polymers such as epoxy resins and unsaturated polyester are extensively used as coatings, adhesives, and structural applications because of their outstanding mechanical and electrical properties, chemical resistance, and adhesion. The global thermoset plastic market is about 25 billion dollars. It is very difficult to recycle the thermosets because of the cross-linked nature of the resin. Solvolysis, using reactive solvents to break down chemical bonds in thermoset resins, has been regarded as one of the most promising recycling.

Goal of internship:
Chemical recycling of a typical thermosets via solvolysis.

The Project involves:
1. Solvent selection for solvolysis of thermosets including epoxy resin and unsaturated polyester based on literature and theoretical analysis.
2. Test the solvents for solvolysis of thermosets and optimize the reaction conditions.
3. Characterization of the thermoset and the degradation products using FTIR, HPLC, GC-MS, LC-MS, DSC.
4. Preliminary mechanism analysis of the selected solvolysis methods.

Starting date
February 2024. The length of the assignment is 5 months. The student who will execute the assignment gets a fee of €350,- per month.
The intern will be part of a research team led by the adviser and supervised by Qian Zhou and Moctar Coulibaly. The working language can be Dutch and English.

Desirable skills/qualities of the student
The student should be able to carry out independent laboratory research. The preferred background is chemistry.


Contact person concerning this assignment : Qian Zhou
Phone : +316 10224446
E-mail :

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