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This project is part of the FWO-SBO project ligDYN (Lignin based dynamic and circular thermosets). The consortium partners in the ligDYN project are Free University Brussels (VUB), Catholic University Leuven (KUL), Ghent University and Maastricht University.
In this LigDYN project, lignin oil obtained by Reductive Catalytic Fractionation (RCF), a game changing lignocellulose biorefining process, will be functionalized for further incorporation in three major types of Covalent Adaptive Networks (CAN). Such oils are thus ideal for downstream functionalization research, and present a clear improvement over other available types of lignin. Both dissociative and associative CANs will be explored in thermoreversibe thermoset resins for more sustainable coatings and adhesives. The resulting sustainable (anticorrosive) coatings as well as adhesives are truly sustainable because not only are these materials biobased, due to the incorporation of lignin into the network structure, but the reversible nature ensures the ability to reprocess, reshape, and recycle. Such materials hold great promise as alternatives for conventional phenolic resins, as is evident by the broad interest from industrial partners, leading to an industrial user committee with companies from the whole value chain of both coatings and adhesives.
The task of Maastricht University is to develop and characterize lignin based CANs, starting from RCF lignin from KUL. Study of the material characteristics via rheology, DMA, tensile testing etc. is an important part of the job. Screening of the properties of the lignin based resins in coating and adhesive applications will also be done, in close collaboration with the people from VUB and from the industrial advisory board.
The PhD student will be appointed at the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials of Maastricht University, which is part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. You will work in the group of Associate Professor Katrien Bernaerts, which focusses on the synthesis and design of polymer materials with tunable properties and recyclability exploiting the functionality of biobased building blocks. You will operate from the Brightlands-Chemelot Campus in Geleen (Nl), where the labs are located.
Why work at Maastricht University?
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The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is home to several outstanding departments and institutions covering education and research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as the liberal arts and sciences.
The Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) is a department of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) at Maastricht University, located on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen. AMIBM is a European cross-border research institute established by Maastricht University and RWTH Aachen University (Germany), focusing on developing advanced biobased materials. The mission of AMIBM is “ground-breaking conversion of biomass to biobased materials and into product applications”. AMIBM promotes excellent multidisciplinary research in the field of biobased materials, by training Ph.D. students with the multiple skills needed to be future leaders in the field, and creating the research breakthroughs that will enable the utilization of sustainable and renewable materials for advanced materials applications. The multidisciplinary team draws together scientists with expertise in molecular and applied biotechnology, organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, polymer physics, polymer engineering, biomedical materials, and sustainability assessment.
AMIBM is embedded in a lively, entrepreneurial, and creative working environment at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen (the Netherlands), one of the largest chemical and materials communities in Europe.
More information: www.amibm.org.
Research group Sustainability of Chemicals and Materials.
The mission of the research team is to provide suitable instruments and sustainability impact assessments to guide the transition from a fossil-based and linear economy to a biobased and circular economy.
We are a young and growing international team of sustainability experts focusing on environmental impact assessment in connection with economic and social impacts.
Maastricht University (UM)
Urmonderbaan 22, 6167 RD, Geleen
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