Ina Vollmer

Assistant Professor
Employed since: May 2019
Email: i.vollmer@uu.nl
Room: David de Wied 5.88

Research

Research

The majority of plastic waste is landfilled, burned or leaks to the environment. Unfortunately, only 12 % (by weight) is recycled globally1 mainly because the predominantly applied recycling technique of melting and re-extrusion produces a lower quality plastic.2–6 Therefore, chemical depolymerization of plastic has been studied to produce monomers which can be used to make high-quality plastic again. For polyolefins, however, only a very mixed, low value hydrocarbon stream was obtained thus far.4  This is because thermal cracking of the strong polyolefin bonds evokes random bond scission, uncontrolled further reaction and thus the formation of various products besides monomers.

My research focusses on developing pathways for the low temperature selective chemical recycling of plastic waste to chemical building blocks like aromatics, carboxylic acids and monomers. I am especially interested in using mechanochemistry and catalysis to drive the depolymerization and cracking reactions of polyolefins. Mechanochemistry is a rather less developed field of chemistry where reactions are driven not by thermal energy, electrons or photons but rather by mechanical strain, which can lower the activation energy needed to be overcome for bond cleavage. This strain can, for example, be applied in a ball mill. Heterogeneous catalysts can also lower the activation energy barrier and improve selectivity to commercially interesting products like aromatics.

(1)        The Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastic&Catalysing Action; 2013; Vol. 52.

(2)        Jansson, A.; Möller, K.; Gevert, T. Degradation of Post-Consumer Polypropylene Materials Exposed to Simulated Recycling—Mechanical Properties. Polym. Degrad. Stab. 2003, 82 (1), 37–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0141-3910(03)00160-5.

(3)        Canevarolo, S. V. Chain Scission Distribution Function for Polypropylene Degradation during Multiple Extrusions. Polym. Degrad. Stab. 2000, 70(1), 71–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0141-3910(00)00090-2.

(4)        Ragaert, K.; Delva, L.; Van Geem, K. Mechanical and Chemical Recycling of Solid Plastic Waste. Waste Manag. 2017, 69, 24–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2017.07.044.

(5)        Dordinejad, A. K.; Sharif, F.; Ebrahimi, M.; Rashedi, R. Rheological and Thermorheological Assessment of Polyethylene in Multiple Extrusion Process. Thermochim. Acta 2018, 668, 19–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.TCA.2018.08.010.

(6)        Bai, C.; Spontak, R. J.; Koch, C. C.; Saw, C. K.; Balik, C. M. Structural Changes in Poly(Ethylene Terephthalate) Induced by Mechanical Milling. Polymer (Guildf). 2000, 41 (19), 7147–7157. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0032-3861(00)00048-3.

C.V.

C.V.

2015 – 2019 PhD at Technical University Delft in Catalysis Engineering

2013 -2015 M.S.CEP Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2009 – 2013 B.Sc. Process Engineering University of Applied Sciences Hamburg

News

11 May 2021

Where has all the plastic gone? Ina Vollmer & Florian Meirer interviewed about plastic in the environment

Ina Vollmer and Florian Meirer have been interviewed for an in-depth article about plastic in the environment: 99 percent of all the plastics in the ocean is missing. We know […]

Read more

Publications

Vollmer, I; Jenks, M J F; Roelands, M C P; White, R J; van Harmelen, T; de Wild, P; van der Laan, G P; Meirer, F; Keurentjes, J T F; Weckhuysen, B M

Beyond Mechanical Recycling: Giving New Life to Plastic Waste Journal Article

Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 59 (36), pp. 15402-15423, 2020, (cited By 35).

Links | BibTeX

Yarulina, I; Wispelaere, De K; Bailleul, S; Goetze, J; Radersma, M; Abou-Hamad, E; Vollmer, I; Goesten, M; Mezari, B; Hensen, E J M; Martínez-Espín, J S; Morten, M; Mitchell, S; Perez-Ramirez, J; Olsbye, U; Weckhuysen, B M; Speybroeck, Van V; Kapteijn, F; Gascon, J

Erratum to: Structure–performance descriptors and the role of Lewis acidity in the methanol-to-propylene process (Nature Chemistry, (2018), 10, 8, (804-812), 10.1038/s41557-018-0081-0) Journal Article

Nature Chemistry, 10 (8), pp. 897, 2018, (cited By 0).

Links | BibTeX

Yarulina, I; Wispelaere, De K; Bailleul, S; Goetze, J; Radersma, M; Abou-Hamad, E; Vollmer, I; Goesten, M; Mezari, B; Hensen, E J M; Martínez-Espín, J S; Morten, M; Mitchell, S; Perez-Ramirez, J; Olsbye, U; Weckhuysen, B M; Speybroeck, Van V; Kapteijn, F; Gascon, J

Structure–performance descriptors and the role of Lewis acidity in the methanol-to-propylene process Journal Article

Nature Chemistry, 10 (8), pp. 804-812, 2018, (cited By 3).

Links | BibTeX

Yarulina, I; Wispelaere, De K; Bailleul, S; Goetze, J; Radersma, M; Abou-Hamad, E; Vollmer, I; Goesten, M; Mezari, B; Hensen, E J M; Martínez-Espín, J S; Morten, M; Mitchell, S; Perez-Ramirez, J; Olsbye, U; Weckhuysen, B M; Speybroeck, Van V; Kapteijn, F; Gascon, J

Erratum to: Structure–performance descriptors and the role of Lewis acidity in the methanol-to-propylene process (Nature Chemistry, (2018), 10, 8, (804-812), 10.1038/s41557-018-0081-0) Journal Article

Nature Chemistry, 10 (8), pp. 897, 2018, (cited By 1).

Links | BibTeX

Yarulina, I; Wispelaere, De K; Bailleul, S; Goetze, J; Radersma, M; Abou-Hamad, E; Vollmer, I; Goesten, M; Mezari, B; Hensen, E J M; Martínez-Espín, J S; Morten, M; Mitchell, S; Perez-Ramirez, J; Olsbye, U; Weckhuysen, B M; Speybroeck, Van V; Kapteijn, F; Gascon, J

Structure–performance descriptors and the role of Lewis acidity in the methanol-to-propylene process Journal Article

Nature Chemistry, 10 (8), pp. 804-812, 2018, (cited By 84).

Links | BibTeX

Other publications

See earlier publications on Scopus.