Internship | Developing Analysis Procedures for Microplastics in Plastic Recycling



Education type

higher professional education (hbo)


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


Apply now


Recycling plays a key role on the route towards a circular plastics economy. Recycling processes are under constant development and optimization. It is expected that due to the intensive treatment of plastics, small plastics particles (microplastics, MPs) can be formed. This is both undesirable from a process efficiency (loss) and environmental (potential risk) point of view.

What will be your role?

In order to gain a better understanding of these losses, we need to be able to measure and detect MPs in the recycling process. However, this measurement and detection is hindered by the highly contamination nature of the process. Your task will to be to develop robust pre-treatment and analysis procedures for these measurements. First, an overview of the available pre-treatment methods (incl. digestion and separation methods) will be created. Second, the most promising of these methods will be tested – and where necessary improved – in the lab. Third, the pre-treated samples will be analysed with amongst others µFTIR and SEM-EDX/CL for the investigation of MPs released during the recycling process. The project will result in an optimised pre-treatment and analysis procedure for the analysis of MPs released during the recycling process.

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it.

What we expect from you

Our ideal candidate is a master student with a (analytical)chemical, material science, environmental or closely related background, with a multidisciplinary and scientific interest.
  • The internship start date will be determined in consultation with the candidate
  • The internship has a minimum duration of 7 months and a maximum duration of 9 months

What you’ll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. Want to know more? Read what steps we are taking in the area of diversity and inclusion.

The selection process

After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.

Due to Covid-19 and the consequent uncertainties and restrictions, students who are not residing in the Netherlands may currently not be able to start an internship or graduation project at TNO.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.

Contact: Luke Parker
Phone number: [email protected]

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


Apply now