method-property relationships for biobased membranes

Type of Project: MSc Thesis/Internship
Starting Date: 01-06-2023, a later starting time is possible
Duration: 6 months (can be discussed)
Salary: €200/month (not including Erasmus participants, possibility to apply for extra €200/month)
Location: Wetsus – European center of excellence for sustainable water technology – Leeuwarden, Netherlands

Project description:

Membrane technologies are well-established, with small footprint, ease of use, and low energy consumption. However, current fabrication processes typically require toxic solvents and petrol-based polymeric materials. These current production methods and materials have risks of negative environmental and health impacts. A transition to realize societal benefits in a circular economy necessitates the development of more sustainable and environmentally friendly production methods and materials for membrane technologies.

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), defining a family of bio-polymers, may be one alternative class of naturally occurring materials to use for membrane applications. PHAs can be produced inherently by bacteria coming from wastewater treatment processes. These polymers are completely biodegradable and biobased [1]. Research that has been undertaken for PHA-based membrane, film, and coating applications [2] shows promising results. However, developments are still at an early stage. Ways for systematic control of the polymer properties coupled with innovations for quality control in the polymer and membrane production process need further attention. Such advancements in quality control, with the potential to impact membrane properties and performance, are still largely unexplored.

This project focuses on material characterization and membrane formulation at a laboratory scale. The objective is to investigate the coupling between the formation process and the resulting membrane properties.

Tasks and research opportunities:

  • Systematic preparation of membranes and subsequent analyses.
  • Advanced analytical investigation based on material characterizations (e.g. TGA, DSC).
  • Linking of outcomes between production and properties.
  • Collaborative interaction within a dynamic multidisciplinary multinational research team.


How to Apply:

Please upload your CV and motivation letter via the application form provided. Do not hesitate to contact Liang-Shin Wang ( if you have any further questions or you need more information.

If you have any further questions regarding this position, do not hesitate to reach out at the email above.

Application form: Production method-property relationships for biobased membranes

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