Master Thesis: Chemical recycling of vehicle interior design materials based
on PET and their co-polymers
Scope: 30 hp
Location: RISE AB, Argongatan 30, Mölndal (south of Göteborg)
Are you interested in developing sustainable materials for the future,
chemical recycling and a circular use of materials? Would you like to
contribute to the development of processes that make more plastic recyclable?
RISE is looking for a student with an interest in polymeric materials and
their chemical recycling.
The aim of the diploma work is to build knowledge on how to chemically
recycle vehicle interior design materials. New, more recyclable, design
concepts for these materials comprise ‘one polymer solutions' based on PET and
their copolymers. Initial results has shown that these PET based materials are
suitable for chemical recycling via depolymerization. This diploma work will
contribute with new basic research in the field of chemical recycling of PET
copolymers and will be used for a future conference or scientific publication.
Background and purpose
Recycling of plastics and use of recycled plastic is necessary in order to
achieve a sustainable production and use of resources. This is part of the
shift towards a circular economy which includes circular use of materials. The
topic is relevant for the vehicle industry and Volvo Cars recently announced a
strategy with the target of 25% recycled plastic in all cars from 2025.
Interior vehicle components contains a lot of plastics and could be suitable
as a source for recycled plastics. These interior components will, after
vehicle fragmentation be part of the light shredder fraction of end-of-life
vehicles (ELV) that today is incinerated or goes to landfill. This diploma
work is a part of the research project Sustainable Vehicle Interior Solutions
(SVIS) that is performed with financial support from the program Strategic
Vehicle Research and Innovation (FFI). RISE together with Volvo Cars and a
large number of companies within the automotive business are investigating the
possibilities to find circular material loops and enable more use of recycled
plastics and other materials in cars.
About the project
The objective of this diploma work is to study the chemcial recyclability of
PET and their co-polymers used in new, more recycable, interior designs for
vehicles. To adapt existing car parts for future recycling schemes, “one
polymer solutions” are advocated. For interior parts this can be done by
utilising PET and PET bicomponent fibers and films (co-polymers of PET). The
PET co-polymers add certain functionalities, such as adhesion or a lower
processing temperature. Chemical recycling by depolymerisation of PET via
glycolysis generate high value streams of PET monomers which can be
repolymerized back to PET with virgin properties. However, less is known about
the behaviour of PET co-polymers in chemical recycling with glycolysis. The
aim for this master student work is therefore:
Investigate different PET co-polymers behaviour in glycolysis i.e. BICO
and PET adhesive. Focus on yield optimization with reaction parameters
such as catalyst and solvent.
Investigate behaviour of other polymers which is used in low amounts in
interior part designs in glycolysis i.e. PE and rubber.
Adapt these findings on blends of PET and PET bicomponent fibers “one
polymer solutions” interior parts.
This diploma work will contribute with new basic research in this field of
chemical recycling of PET copolymers and will be used for a future
conference or scientific publication.
Who are you?
For this degree project, the student should have a background in organic
and polymer chemistry. Possible education programs include, but are not
limited to, chemistry, chemical engineering, or other background with focus on
The project will be performed at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, in
Mölndal, as part of a large research project involving Volvo Cars and a number
Welcome with your application!
For more information, please contact:
Anna Peterson, Scientist, Polymers and Composites, +46 10 228 46 62;
Cecilia Mattsson, Senior scientist, Polymers and Composites, +46 (0) 10 228
49 36; firstname.lastname@example.org
Mårten Alkhagen, Project Manager, Fibre development, +46 (0) 10 228 47 98;
Application deadline: 2022-10-31. The application should include your academic
CV and a short description of yourself. Applications will be evaluated
continuously, and the start date will be agreed with the successful applicant.
Note that all applications for this position must go through our recruitment
system Varbi. We do not accept applications by email.
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