ESR11 - Covestro, Leverkusen, Germany

Title: Multifunctional vitrimer building blocks for the synthesis of recyclable PU materials for a circular economy

Covesto Logo


ESR11 will develop high-performance materials for the transformation from a linear to a circular economy. A library of different vitrimer-based polyols for the synthesis of polyurethanes will be developed and designed for reprocessing and recycling.  The targeted materials aim at replacing the current technologies for adhesives and sealants used in e.g. construction and automotive applications in closed loop systems. A particular focus will be devoted to their recycling abilities and the maintenance of material properties after several recycling/reprocessing steps. ESR will characterize the structure, viscoelastic, thermomechanical and reversible material properties of the polyurethanes before and after several reprocessing steps.

Expected results:

Different vitrimer-based polyols relying on different dynamic chemistries (e.g. trans-N-alkylation, alkyl transfer or transamination) will be synthesized in small and large scale (>1 kg) and used as building blocks for the synthesis of polyurethanes having reprocessing, recycling and reversible adhesion capacities. Their structural and dynamic properties will be characterized by e.g. rheological measurements and will relate rearrangements of the network topology to macroscopic performances. The modulus, ultimate properties and fracture mechanics of fresh, aged and reprocessed materials will be investigated. Expected pioneering innovations are expected to contribute to improve product formulation and yield reversible adhesives and recyclable/reprocessable sealants with performances suited for e.g. construction and automotive applications. ESR11 will develop and upscale the synthesis of vitrimer polyols based on trans-N-alkylation exchanges during his secondment at UCBL (institution awarding PhD degree) and will replicate during his secondment at UGent the upscaled synthesis of other vitrimer polyols developed by ESR10. Both chemistries, performances and their suitability for a circular economy of resulting materials will be compared to the complementary products and applications of Covestro.

Apply to this position




Dr. D. J. Dijkstra

Dr. V. Goldbach


University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Lyon, France University of Gent - Ghent, Belgium


Covestro Germany AG, Kaiser Wilhelm Allee, 51365 Leverkusen, Germany,