between pha-solvent interaction and biobased electrospun membranes

Type of Project: MSc Thesis / Internship project
Starting date: July 2024, a later starting time is possible
Duration: > 6 months (could be discussed)
Salary: Cost allowance of €200 or 400 per month, subject to the personal situation
Location: Wetsus – European center of excellence for sustainable water technology (Leeuwarden, Netherlands)

There are a few possibilities for allowances:
– The allowance for students is €200. The student can apply for ‘Wetsus Grant’ allowance (€200 extra; an internal committee decides if the allowance will be granted).
– Students can apply for Erasmus; (if the Erasmus grant is less than €400, the student can apply for the Wetsus Grant).
– Erasmus
*The Wetsus Grant allowance is not guaranteed and must be approved by the Grant Committee.

Project description
Electrospinning is a versatile and well-known technique for producing continuous polymer fibers. Electrical forces are applied to polymer solutions to produce these nano- to micron-scaled fibers. This technique is of great interest due to its unique capabilities of producing fibers with controllable pore structures and fiber diameters. However, fabrication processes are still far from green and environmentally friendly production. Toxic solvents and petrol-based polymeric materials are the primary choices. A transition to realize societal benefits in a circular economy necessitates the development of more sustainable and environmentally friendly production methods and materials.

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), defining a family of bio-polymers, may be one alternative class of naturally occurring materials for membrane applications. PHAs can be produced inherently by bacteria coming from wastewater treatment processes. These polymers are completely biodegradable and biobased. Research undertaken for PHA-electrospun fibers is at an early stage. Halogenated solvents are still the only solvents reported in the literature. Ways to electrospin PHA using green solvent will be explored for the first time. Utilizing the inherent interaction of PHA with solvent to manipulate fiber properties could provide a novel insight for further targeting specific needs and applications.

This project focuses on polymer characterization and electrospinning PHA at a laboratory scale. The objective is to investigate the coupling between polymer-solution interaction and its effect on electrospinning.

Your profile:

  •  A MSc student in chemical engineering, polymer science, materials science, or similar.
  • Established hands-on laboratory and instrument analytical experience would be a plus.
  • Highly motivated, enthusiastic, and keen to
  • Good communication skills in
  • Currently studying in the Netherlands or has citizenship from an EU country 

    Your benefit

  • Contribute to green solutions for membrane
  • Collaborative interaction within a dynamic, multidisciplinary, multinational research team.

Contact details
Please apply through the application form below. Do not hesitate to contact in case you have any further questions or if you need more information.

Application form Correlation between PHA-solvent interaction and biobased electrospun membranes

  • Max. bestandsgrootte: 1 GB.
  • Max. bestandsgrootte: 1 GB.

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