Pieter Billen

Tenure track docent


Welcome! I am assistant professor at the Faculty of Applied Engineering, teaching at the Chemistry/Biochemistry department, and am a member of the BioGEM research group

My research interest is the circularity of materials, targeted at both renewable feedstocks and end-of-life valorization; with tradeoffs made through quantitative sustainability assessment (LCA/TEA). 

My ambition is to establish a methodology to streamline research efforts in circular materials engineering, by linking very early stage thermodynamic/kinetic/structural insights to product and process sustainability (environmental impact and economic viability). To this end, I combine a variety of different modeling tools at multiple scale, ranging from ab initio chemical computing (collaboration with PLASMANT) over Aspen Plus (collaboration with ELCAT and prof. Spatari at Drexel University) to tailored mechanistic models and finally LCA/TEA inventory and characterization models. Current case studies of circular materials engineering include chemical cycling of polyurethanes, production and recycling of nanocellulose materials, natural deep eutectic solvents, and (open-loop) thermochemical recycling of polyolefin waste. 

PhD course Low Carbon Economy

Check out the 2nd Interdisciplinary PhD expert course for young researchers on Sustainability Assessments for Low-Carbon Economy, organized at the University of Antwerp, September 10-12, 2019. Participation is free, application details in the link