Prix, bourses et distinctions

The AXA Research Fund supports the Research Chair project « Recycling of plastic waste by CO2 valorization, » led by Prof. Olivier Coulembier of UMONS.

Published on 9 June 2022
Written by Charlotte Jauniaux
On May 03, 2022, the AXA Research Fund, on the recommendation of its Scientific Board, decided to support the project of a Research Chair led by Professor Olivier Coulembier, F.R.S.- FNRS researcher at the University of Mons.


  • The research of the AXA Chair « Recycling plastic waste by CO2 recovery » will seek to demonstrate that polyolefins – one of the most polluting plastics – can be transformed into new functional materials of second generation, while recovering CO2.
  • Professor Coulembier’s Chair will receive a one million euro grant over five years.

Every year, nearly 250 million tons of plastic waste are generated each year worldwide, of which only about 30% is recycled. Most of these substances end up in nature, impacting  the environment and our health due their presence in the air.

The Plastic Waste Upcycling by CO2 Valorization (PLUCO) project seeks to unleash the potential of two emblematic wastes, carbon dioxide (CO2) and polyolefins – one of the most environmentally polluting families of plastics – to create new functional materials with superior properties.

When one considers that the development of efficient recycling methods has become a global concern due to the increasing demand for plastics, this research project would bring an innovative solution to a major environmental issue.

Prof. Olivier Coulembier adds:

« Today, mechanical recycling is a simple approach but it invariably results in the production of recycled materials with inferior properties to those of the initial materials, thus severely limiting any economic incentive. “».

For Marie Bogataj, Head of the AXA Research Fund and Group Foresight:

« The research project proposed by Prof. Coulembier contributes to the transition towards a circular economy by designing innovative technologies and products. An innovation that promotes societal progress and environmental stewardship which is fully in line with the AXA Research Fund’s mission. »

The work of Professor Olivier Coulembier of the University of Mons is expected to begin in the fall, with the formation of the team and the means necessary for the research thanks to the AXA Research Fund grant. The AXA Chair « Recycling of plastic waste by CO2 recovery » will receive annual support of 200,000 € for the next 5 years.

An international recognition that brings the UMONS research to the forefront.