Jochem van de Minkelis

PhD Candidate
Employed since: December 2021
Room: DDW 4th floor study area



Due to the increasing amount of plastic waste and the associated environmental problems, the development of the recycling process has become of great importance. Chemical recycling can be used to recover valuable products from plastic waste. This research will focus on the hydrothermal conversion of polyethylene in supercritical water. While the strong C-C bonds of polyethylene are inaccessible to degradation under normal conditions, conversion with supercritical water yields predominantly n-alkanes. However, little is known about the mechanism involved and how the supercritical water interacts with the polymer. Various model polymers will be used to investigate the mechanism and kinetics of the hydrothermal conversion. Additionally, a catalyst will be developed which can increase the reaction rate and alter the product distribution.



2021 – present:
PhD candidate in the group of prof. dr. ir. Bert Weckhuysen, Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University

Project: Solvolysis of polyethylene in supercritical water

2019 – 2021:
Master’s degree in Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University

Master thesis at the Materials Chemistry and Catalysis group: ‘The effect of metal – acid site proximity in palladium/solid acid bifunctional catalysts on the hydroconversion of n-alkanes’, supervised by Luc Smulders, MSc and prof. dr. in. Krijn de Jong

Internship at Shell Global Solutions, Amsterdam: ‘Development of a support material for sorbents used in gas separation’, supervised by dr. Lennart van Haandel

2016 – 2019:
Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at Utrecht University

Bachelor thesis at the Materials Chemistry and Catalysis group: ‘Synthesis of supported Pt catalyst: Influence of Pt precursors and drying conditions’, supervised by dr. Jogchum Oenema and prof. dr. in. Krijn de Jong

2011 – 2016:
High school education at Calvijn, Hardinxveld-Giessendam and Lyceum Oudehoven, Gorinchem

Born May 10th in Dordrecht, the Netherlands