Pieter Billen

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My expertise is in the development and assessment of materials cycles, with a focus on the early stage (ex-ante) analysis and optimization of feasibility/sustainability indicators. The shift of LCA/TEA toward very low TRL comes with methodological challenges, related to decision making under high uncertainty as well as making technological and market projections. In my research I aspire to link early stage basic analytical and computational observations to later macroscale energy and material balances. This integrated approach for optimization is of value predominantly in multi-input, multi-output processing pathways in which parallel decision making during research projects is key.
Additionally, our recently established research group iPRACS has ongoing projects on chemical recycling of plastics, with current examples the sourcing of long-chain functional molecules from polyolefin pyrolysis oils, and chemical recycling of polyurethane. Our group combines solid transferrable experience in oleochemistry to this end with applied catalyst and solvents design. Our group has extensive lab equipment for initial lab upscaling (e.g. 5L automated reactor setup) as well as analytics (X-ray single crystal diffraction, GC-MS/FID, HPLC, GPC, FTIR-microscopy, calorimetry, DSC/TGA…).