At the beginning of May, Chemical and Biological Recycling of Plastics Theme student Bradley Hopkins visited the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. He attended after an invite was extended by Professor Felipe Penaranda-Foix to undertake dielectric measurements of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) samples as they were heated with microwave radiation.
Bradley’s research focusses on developing a novel pathway to recycle PET, the 3rd most used plastic in the food packaging industry, by utilising the rapid heating of microwave radiation to enable efficient turnover. Dielectric properties can quantify how well a given material will heat when exposed to microwave radiation, and they provide valuable information for Bradley’s research. The measurements he has been able to undertake in Valencia have provided important insights about the processes at play during the microwave heating of PET, and are informing his next set of experiments going forward.