CHAMPION project replaces existing materials with bio-based polymers

CHAMPION project replaces existing materials with bio-based polymers

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Stahl partners in Research and Innovation Action aiming to replace conventional polymers with novel bio-based polymers

Summary

The use of polymers in manufacturing is an essential element of numerous aspects of modern life. They are used to create the high-strength, low-weight plastics for manufacturing many of the consumer goods we take for granted. They are also present in highly resistant coatings for automotive and domestic goods, as well as structural adhesives. All these applications –  and many more – are reliant on polymers.

However, many of these polymers rely on non-renewable feedstocks. Once they reach the end-of-life phase, these polymer-based products present a range of environmental issues. The majority are not fit for recycling – ending up being incinerated or in landfill. In addition, some of the chemicals used in their production are toxic. These elements stand in contrast to the EU’s green credentials and its ambitions to create a circular economy. It is clear that sustainable bio-based alternatives offer an ideal solution to all these issues.

Stahl will be one of the partners in a Research and Innovation Action, named CHAMPION (Circular High-performance Aza-Michael. The objective of the CHAMPION project is to replace these existing materials with bio-based polymers – based on the aza-Michael addition reaction – that are suitable for high-performance applications. The applications will include coatings, textiles, home care (HC) formulation, and structural adhesives. Examples of uses would include kitchen counter coatings, car interior surfaces, laundry detergent and adhesives for industrial composites. The new materials will perform as well as, or better than, existing polymers from non-renewable sources while being circular by design. This will make them superior to current materials by ensuring that they are biodegradable and/or suitable for recycling.


Objectives: 

The CHAMPION project has the overall objective of identifying and developing bio-based alternatives for use in polymers, avoiding many of the current issues associated with these materials. In addition, it will pursue a number of specific objectives. It will:


Expected impacts: 

By achieving its overall objective, the CHAMPION project will reduce the environmental impact of essential polymer production using current methods and materials. In addition to this, it will also make contributions to specific BBI JU KPIs through:

In addition, the CHAMPION project will bring specific environmental benefits. The products it delivers will be designed with three end-of-life options planned from the outset. The first is recovery and chemical recycling, the second is a controlled energy recovery system that also reduces environmental release. The third is a biodegradation safety net, guaranteeing that losses to the environment will not persist, as is the case for current materials. These will prevent the major existing impacts seen with petrochemical-based products.


Read more about the CHAMPION project here



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CHAMPION project replaces existing materials with bio-based polymers
Frank Brouwer
Senior Green Technology Chemist