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PhD in Depolymerisation of Plastic Waste

   School of Chemistry

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Creating catalysts that can rapidly depolymerise plastic waste into added value small molecules is an important research target. Our work in this area are focused on expanding the catalyst design to make them more active and selective and to broaden the substrate scope. We believe that this could be important underpinning research in the search for new methods to recycle plastics.

A funded PhD studentship is available in the group of Prof. Andrew Dove at the University of Birmingham (group website: to work in this area.

The project will involve research in some or all of the key areas that the group are interested:

• Development of catalysts for depolymerisation of plastics

• Understanding and tuning the product distribution based on reaction conditions and catalyst choice • Investigating potential applicability of the depolymerised materials

The project will involve several areas that can be tuned towards the successful applicant’s interests and skills and will be ideal for students that are interested in a fundamental research project with an applied goal. The work will be conducted in the recently refurbished lab space that the Dove group occupy in the Haworth Building in Edgbaston with full access to the world-class, state-of-the-art facilities maintained by the group and department.

Enquiries and informal applications should be made to Prof Dove via the webform at:

Funding Notes

The funding can only be used to support students that are eligible for home fee status. The successful applicants should expect to have a good (1st or 2.1 UK or equivalent) degree in chemistry.


Exemplar publications from the Dove Group:
1. Selective Chemical Upcycling of Mixed Plastics Guided by a Thermally Stable Organocatalyst. Jehanno, C.; Demarteau, J.; Mantione, D.; Arno, M. C.; Ruipérez, F.; Hedrick, J. L.; Dove, A. P.; Sardon, H. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2021) 60, 6710 — 6717.
2. Dual-catalytic depolymerization of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Delle Chiaie, K. R.; McMahon, F. R.; Williams, E. J.; Price, M. J.; Dove, A. P. Polym. Chem. (2020) 11, 1450 — 1453.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Chemistry?

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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