Skip to main content
EURAXESS

MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc - PhD Position #CD22-55: In-situ recycling of multiphase post-consumer plastic waste in isolated areas

17/10/2022

Job Information

Organisation/Company
Université Gustave Eiffel
Department
MAST-CPDM
Research Field
Chemistry
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Country
France
Application Deadline
Type of Contract
Temporary
Job Status
Full-time
Hours Per Week
35
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND
Marie Curie Grant Agreement Number
101034248
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?
No

Offer Description

Context:

More than anywhere else, isolated areas such as islands and remote regions are confronted with residual material management challenges, including post-consumer plastic waste (PCW). The context of these geographically distant environments exacerbates the PCW management problem by acting on two levels: L1) the small quantity of plastics for each chemical nature that can be used as a deposit of materials to be recycled, and L2) the cost increase in handling and transport to large-scale storage centres due to its remoteness. In both cases, it becomes absolutely uneconomic to recycle PCW in a conventional way. It therefore appears advantageous to develop simple mechanical recycling techniques for multi-phase post-consumer PCW that are applicable to remote environments but can be scaled up.

Recycling of PCW:

Conventional recycling of plastic waste generally involves 3 main steps and may involve several partners. The first step is to recover or collect and transport the material to sorting centres where the different types of plastics are separated, compacted into bales, and sent to regeneration factories. The second stage consists in washing, crushing and granulating the plastics. The third stage is the transformation of the recycled granules into semi-finished or finished products.

Conventional sorting is performed manually by combining particle size, ballistic, magnetic and optical processes. However, this sorting method is not without flaws and the nature of the polymers and residual contaminants in the bales is variable. Furthermore, the presence of contaminants and the chemical and thermal degradation of the polymer lead to a reduction in the properties of the recycled pellets compared to the virgin polymer-based pellets. Thus, in the case of heterogeneous and small deposits characteristic of remote environments, the use of these conventional sorting processes makes the recycling of these plastic wastes uneconomic.

It would therefore appear judicious to elaborate a research project on the development of simple recovery techniques that would minimise the sorting and decontamination stages in order to allow the manufacture of finished products adapted to the quality and quantity of the available raw materials, when complying with sanitary regulations. These techniques will allow a reduction in the energy costs associated with the handling of PCW to the management centres.

Proposed project:

The proposed thesis aims to valorise the largest quantity of post-consumer recycled polymers from remote areas by incorporating them when manufacturing building materials such as building claddings and decking. This project will be carried out in collaboration with the municipalities of Iles-de-la-Madeleine (IDLM), Quebec, Canada and Iles du Ponant, France. The specific objectives of this three-year thesis are:

O1) to determine the classes of PCW that enable manufacturing different products. If volumes are not sufficient, an integrative approach without sorting could be preferred (year 1),

O2) identify and quantify the contaminants present in the recycled pellets and study their impact on the process and performance of the PCW (year 1),

O3) develop, if necessary, a simple decontamination line (years 1 and 2),

O4) develop new formulations based on unsorted or poorly sorted recycled polymers (year 2),

O5) develop and characterize industrial materials based on the formulations developed (year 2),

O6) shape building products by simple processes such as extrusion and 3D printing (year 2),

O7) carry out a pilot project as a technological showcase at the IDLM (year 3),

O8) evaluate the sustainability of the applications developed in the island context (years 2 and 3).

The thesis will be carried out within the International Associated Laboratory Eco materials for Infrastructures and Building (LIA-ECOMAT) between the UdeS in Quebec and the University Gustave Eiffel in France. The doctoral student will spend 18 months at CITÉ (the Crossroads of Innovation in Ecological Technologies) at the UdeS and then 18 months in France and will have a double degree (French and Canadian) at the end of his or her thesis.

This is an opportunity to have access to a large team of researchers for the supervision of the doctoral student, as well as laboratories and research equipment that are perfectly suited to the subject of the thesis. Indeed, the CITÉ of the UdeS as well as the Materials and Structure department of the Gustave Eiffel University, have experience and expertise in the field of recycling, shaping and characterization of polymeric materials. This project will allow the PhD student to acquire knowledge in the field of thermoplastic recycling, an important current issue, and to contribute to the circular economy by proposing technical and technological solutions to reduce the amount of waste in remote areas. The candidate will work on a multidisciplinary topic, grow his or her knowledge in materials, processing, multi-scale characterisation and sustainability, all in a leading international team.

Expected benefits:

The economic benefits of this project will be multiple: cost reduction to transport PCW to sorting centres and to import some construction materials that will be locally manufactured from recycled PCW. Given the multi-phase material development approach, the project will have important environmental benefits such as the reduction of the rate of PCW rejection and their sending to landfill sites. In addition, the reduction in energy demand related to the transportation of PCW perfectly meets current requirements in terms of greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Finally, the project will have significant social and societal benefits for the targeted communities. Indeed, local actors will play an active role in the creation of added value for materials currently considered as waste and fitted to local needs.

Requirements

Research Field
Chemistry
Education Level
Bachelor Degree or equivalent
Skills/Qualifications
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
Languages
FRENCH
Level
Good
Languages
ENGLISH
Level
Good

Additional Information

Benefits
  • High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel
  • Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).
  • Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.
  • International mobility will be mandatory
  • An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.
  • Access to dedicated CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.
Eligibility criteria

Applicants must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must fulfil the transnational mobility rule: incoming applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 previous years.

One application per call per year is allowed.

Applicants must be available full-time to start the programme on schedule (November 1st 2023).

Application rules are enforced by the French doctoral system which specifies a standard duration of 3 years for a full-time PhD together with the MSCA standards and the OTM-R European rules as follows.

Citizens of any nationality may apply to the programme.

There is no age limit.

Selection process

Please refer to the Guide for Applicants available on the CLEAR-Doc website.

Additional comments
  • The First step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor.

  • International Mobility: The thesis will be carried out within the International Associated Laboratory Eco materials for Infrastructures and Building (LIA-ECOMAT) between the UdeS in Quebec and the University Gustave Eiffel in France. The doctoral student will spend 18 months at CITÉ (the Crossroads of Innovation in Ecological Technologies) at the UdeS and then 18 months in France and will have a double degree (French and Canadian) at the end of his or her thesis.

  • Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer.

  • There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply.

  • Support service is available during every step of the application process by email: clear-doc@univ-eiffel.fr

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
1
Company/Institute
Université Gustave Eiffel
Country
France
State/Province
Île de France
City
Marne-la-Vallée
Postal Code
77454
Street
5, Boulevard Descartes
Geofield

Contact

City
Marne-La-Vallée
Website
Street
5, Boulevard Descartes
Postal Code
77454
E-Mail
laetitia.van-schoors@univ-eiffel.fr
fabienne.farcas@univ-eiffel.fr