PhD project

ReCoVR – Recovery and Circularity of Valuable Resources

Erik Postma (PhD Candidate), Karin Schroën (promotor), Sissi de Beer (co-promotor)

Duration: 2022 - 2026

Funding:  NWO Perspective Program ReCoVR

Resources and raw materials are becoming increasingly sparse due to the growing world population. Therefore, we need to transition to a circular economy in which all resources are reusable by 2050. Development of novel sustainable technologies that can recover valuable resources from residue streams is essential to enabling this transition. (

Key words
Adsorption, desorption, electric responsive polymers/self-assembled monolayer

Technological challenges
Proteins and flavor molecules are captured and released from feed streams by changing the surface properties of electrodes. Nowadays, such a switch is induced by changes in temperature or salt concentration of the entire system, even though this is energy and cost expansive. Therefore, in this project we design coatings that switch from a hydrophilic to hydrophobic surfaces in electric fields. These electric responsive coatings consist, for example, of self-assembled monolayers or larger polyelectrolytes.

Research goals