HDR Scholarship - Enzymatic digestion of polyester to recover and recycle components from polyester/cotton blend

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Enzymatic digestion of polyester to recover and recycle components from polyester/cotton blend'.

Project Supervisor

School OR Institute


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

PET Polyester is the most consumed fibre in the textile industry. A key product of PET is PET/Cotton blend as it provides the consumer the benefits of dimensional stability and crease resistant of Polyester and comfort of cotton at an affordable price. However at the end of life, it is extremely difficult to separate PET from Cotton required for recycling.

As a result, million tons of such products end up in landfills without going through the recycling process. This is one of the biggest challenges of recycling in the textile and fashion industry which is looking for sustainable technologies and want to transform from a linear to circular economy.

Project aim

The enzymatic hydrolysis of PET and particularly textile grade PET fibre is a critical challenge to science and industry. This project will investigate digestion and separation of PET from PET/cotton using esterase and subsequent recycling possibilities of separated components.

The project will specifically look at influence of dyes, finishing agents, blend composition and fibre dimensions during enzyme based isolation of PET and subsequent recyclability of PET and cotton cellulose.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,092 per annum tax exempt (2020 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate or overseas
  • International students only: Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student fees offest.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate currently residing in Australia (domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian permanent Residency or new Zealand Citizenship).
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

Additional desirable criteria include:

    The candidate should have qualification and background in Biochemistry/ organic chemistry/ materials chemistry/ polymer and fibre chemistry and technology. Any experience with enzymes and biochemistry related work on fibres and synthetic polymers will be preferred.

    Apart from Deakin University at Waurn Ponds, the candidate may require to conduct experiments at CSIRO Biocatalysis & Synthetic Biology Team in Canberra.

How to apply

Please apply using the expression of interest form.

Learn more about submitting a successful application on Deakin's How to apply page.


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Rangam Rajkhowar

Dr Rangam Rajkhowa
Senior Research Fellow

Institute for Frontier Materials
Email Rangam Rajkhowa
+61 3 522 73427