Stahl will be one of the partners in a Research and Innovation Action that aims to replace conventional polymers with novel bio-based polymers for applications in coatings, textiles, home care uses and structural adhesives.
The initiative is called CHAMPION (Circular High-performance Aza-Michael Polymers as Innovative materials Originating from Nature).
Novel CHAMPION bio-based polymers result from the aza-Michael addition reaction and are expected to be suitable replacements for polymers used in resistant kitchen counter coatings, laundry detergents and other homecare products, car interior surfaces and structural adhesives.
Recovery, chemical recycling and organic recycling (with the option of controlled energy recovery) are the end-of-life options planned for the design of products using CHAMPION polymers.
The specific objectives of the CHAMPION project are:
- Produce a library of more than 50 novel bio-derivable materials using the aza-Michael addition reaction for chain extension, modification and curing.
- Increase the environmental and economic performance of the novel polymers by developing biodegradable alternatives and establishing an innovative testing strategy to rapidly evaluate toxicological safety issues of candidate products.
- Produce and submit to industrial partners for testing four novel bio-based polymer candidates with high performance for home caring formulation additives, structural adhesives, coatings and automotive interior surfaces.
- Increase the overall resource efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the targeted applications.
- Validate new and improved processing technologies and evaluate the most advanced bio-based polyester candidates in environmental, social and economic terms. Results will be benchmarked against the conventional petrochemical-based alternatives.
- Communicate with key audiences and stakeholders and gather feedback from policymakers and market actors along the entire value chain.
The project has been awarded Horizon 2020 BBI JU funding and includes 14 partners from six European countries coordinated by the University of York.
Professor James Clark, coordinator of the CHAMPION project, said: “The current approaches to polymer production are not compatible with the EU’s circular economy and green ambitions; the CHAMPION project will develop suitable, even superior replacements.”
The majority of conventional polymers are not fit for recycling and end up being incinerated or landfilled.
Some of the chemicals used in their production may result in toxic emissions depending on the end of life process they go through.
These characteristics stand in contrast to the EU’s green credentials and its ambitions to create a circular economy.