My PhD project is going to focus on developing approaches that are able to tackle the challenges plastic waste represents for a circular economy. Since 2014, up to 30 % of plastic used in the EU has been landfilled. The remaining 70 % is either recycled or consumed in energy recovery. In an attempt to reduce landfill and improve recycling/ energy recovery processes, my PhD will look at thermal and catalytic pyrolysis of waste plastic streams to produce energy or convert it back into chemical building blocks.
The project will focus upon developing practical solutions and will involve the design and testing of small-scale converters (e.g. fluidized bed reactors) and extrudates as well as the related characterization of suitable catalysts and processes via spectroscopic methods.