logo-avans-hogeschoollogo-coebbeChemical recycling of typical thermosets


General background:

Biocomposites are sustainable materials with good properties and high value. The Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy is involved in the biobased bridge project to investigate the possibility of using biocomposites as construction materials for a sustainable bicycle-pedestrian bridge in the Netherlands. Recycling of the biocomposites extends the life cycle of the composites and reduces the global impact on the environment by lowering consumption of raw materials and saving carbon for a longer time. Therefore, recycling of biocomposites makes them more sustainable materials and more attractive for the industry, and thus promotes a more sustainable business model. However, it is very difficult to recycle the thermosets based biocomposites 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 methods, where resins, fibres and fillers are separated and recovered.

Goal of internship:

Recycling of typical thermosets based on epoxy resin and related biocomposites (Greenpoxy) via solvolysis.


The Project involves:

1. Solvent selection for solvolysis of epoxy resin based on literature and theoretical analysis.

2. Test the solvents for solvolysis of epoxy resin and optimize the reaction conditions. Choose the solvents if the degradation rate is more than 50%.

3. Test the selected solvents for solvolysis of some typical bioresins (Greenpoxy).

4. Preliminary mechanism analysis of the selected solvolysis methods.

Starting date

September 2020. 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 lead by the adviser and supervised by Qian Zhou and Dennis Molendijk.

Desirable skills/qualities of the student

The student should be able to carry out independent laboratory research. The preferred background is chemistry. 2


Contact person concerning this assignment : Qian Zhou

Phone : +316 10224446

E-mail : q.zhou1@avans.nl

Visiting address : Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy

Street / number, areal code and place : Lovendijkstraat 63, Breda

Postal address : 4800 RA

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