Postdoc position in Recycling Plastic Waste via Mechanochemistry

Application is currently ongoing for the Postdoc position in Recycling Plastic Waste via Mechanochemistry at the department of Chemistry, Utrecht University in the Netherland.

The focus of the project is to develop new ball-milling- and extrusion-assisted conversion of polyolefins to chemical building blocks, such as monomers, aromatics, and other hydrocarbons. This is to understand the fundamental mechanism of chain cleavage of polyolefins due to mechanical force. You will be using EPR, MALDI TOF MS, GPC, and TGA as well as a plethora of other spectroscopic techniques available in the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis (ICC) section. In addition, catalyst design for the same process will be part of their research task, which allows them to become an expert in mechanocatalysis.

This fundamental research project aims to make a positive impact on the plastic waste problem. To achieve this mechanochemical and mechanistic fundamentals of polyolefin conversion are combined with the possibility to develop a viable recycling technology.

Duration: 1-year


The main tasks will be:

  • develop a new chemical recycling technology based on mechanochemistry;
  • overcome the challenge of performing reactions inside a shaking ball mill at elevated temperatures and under a gas atmosphere;
  • understand the fundamental mechanism of mechanochemical polymer chain cleavage;
  • develop a strong knowledge base for mechanochemistry of polyolefins;
  • advise, supervise and work closely with other team members;
  • excel in a top chemistry group with an extensive variety of state-of-the-art equipment.


  • A full-time gross salary ranging from €2,960 to €4,670 on a scale of 10;
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • A pension scheme
  • Partially paid parental leave and flexible employment conditions.
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Job Requirements

They seek a candidate with the following key qualifications:

  • an intrinsic drive to contribute to a relatively unexplored field of chemistry;
  • motivation to develop new plastic recycling technologies and contribute to solving the plastic waste issue;
  • strong expertise (through studies and PhD/Postdoc research) and experience in one or all of the fields of mechanochemistry, polymer science, catalysis, and spectroscopy;
  • like working in a team, while also being fully responsible for your own research project;
  • have experience in and like overcoming experimental and scientific challenges;
  • is interested in thinking about possible applications of their research and working with companies.

Application Process

Interested applicants can apply and ensure that they attach the following:

  • letter of motivation referring to the appeal of the topic as well as the requirements described above;
  • curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references (optional);
  • a copy of their PhD certificate, or a letter from their university stating when their defense will take place (optional).

To apply for the Postdoc position in Recycling Plastic Waste via Mechanochemistry, click here

Application Deadline: August 22, 2022.

For more information, visit the official site.

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