Adrian Hergesell

Adrian Hergesell

PhD candidate
Utrecht University

Adrian Hergesell


Department of Chemistry, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis

Contact information

David de Wiedgebouw, 4th floor open area

Email address

Key expertises

Polymer chemistry, heterogeneous catalysis, chemical recycling

About me

I grew up in Germany and studied chemistry at Paderborn University (B.Sc.) and RWTH Aachen University (M.Sc.). During my studies, I focused on polymer chemistry and heterogeneous catalysis, and did research projects at Imperial College London, tesa SE, and BASF SE. After that, I wrote my Master’s thesis at ETH Zurich in the field of CO2 hydrogenation to methanol. In 2022, I started my PhD at Utrecht University working on the chemical recycling of plastic waste.

About my research

The unsatisfactory recycling rate of plastic waste is an urgent problem which we need to overcome on our way to a sustainable society. Hence, suitable technologies for the conversion of plastic waste streams have to be identified and implemented. In my project, I am developing a new recycling approach for polyolefins, which represent up to 50% of the global plastic production. I use mechanochemical impact, rather than thermal activation, to cleave polyolefins and transform them into shorter-chain hydrocarbons. Adding heterogeneous catalysts will allow me to tune the selectivity and produce value-added chemicals from plastic waste. (PhD candidate affiliated to the hub Utrecht)