Job advertisements for students and postgraduates

Development of a process for chemical recycling of packaging waste

Level of work

Bachelor thesis, master thesis or student assistant


Observing the current trends in the production and subsequent waste management, 12000 Mt of plastic waste will be disposed in the landfills by 2050. About 50% of this waste originates from the packaging sector and majorly constitutes five types of polymers, namely, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polylactic acid (PLA), low- and high-density polyethylene (LDPE and HDPE, respectively), polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS). The aim is to develop a selective and sustainable chemical recycling strategy for these poly-condensed fractions in order to obtain their constituent monomers and/or other valuable chemicals, thereby preventing environmental pollution and contributing to a resource-efficient future.

Project description

The ultimate goal is to develop a holistic strategy for chemical recycling of packaging waste.


  • Comprehensive literature research on current state-of-the-art technologies for recycling packaging waste
  • Identification of the most relevant fractions that can be subjected to chemical recycling (solvolysis)
  • Developing a process concept for selective depolymerisation with the aid of eco-friendly solvents and low molecular weight organic catalysts
  • Process optimisation through design of experiments and sensitivity analysis
  • Contribution to a publication to disseminate the scientific findings


  • Degree in Chemistry or Chemical and/or Process Engineering
  • Interest in subjects like Circular Economy, Chemical Reaction Engineering, Process Synthesis and Intensification and Sustainability (Green Chemistry)
  • Self-reliance
  • Practical laboratory experience
  • Motivation to establish this topic further at Fraunhofer ICT
  • Dissemination of the results through appropriate publications and/or at relevant conferences


  • Pfinztal Berghausen (Lab)
  • Home-Office (Literature Research/Master-Thesis/ Publication)

Starting date

as of now

  • The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft attaches great importance to professional equality regardless of gender. We look forward to receiving your application!