Specialty chemical company Stahl, headquartered in Waalwijk, the Netherlands, has announced that it is taking part in CHAMPION (Circular High-performance Aza-Michael Polymers as Innovative materials Originating from Nature), a research and innovation action funded by the EU that aims to replace conventional polymers with novel bio-based polymers in coatings, textiles, home care uses and structural adhesives.
Research and innovations actions (RIA) are collaborative projects that are a key feature in Horizon 2020, the EU’s subsidy framework for innovation and R&D. These actions primarily consist of activities targeted at establishing new knowledge or exploring the feasibility of new or improved technology, or of a product, process, service or solution.
Some 14 different universities, research institutes and companies are partners in the CHAMPION consortium, which runs from June 2020 through November 2023 and is being coordinated by the University of York.
The EU ambition to create a circular economy calls for a new way of thinking about polymers and their end of life.
“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,” explained University of York professor, James Clark.
Unlike the majority of conventional polymers, which cannot be recycled and end up being incinerated or landfilled, the new materials will be specifically circular by design.
Specifically, the CHAMPION project aims to produce a library of more than 50 novel bio-derivable materials, developed using the aza-Michael addition reaction for chain extension, modification and curing.
Applications will be tested by four relevant industry end-users in the coatings, textiles, home care formulation, and structural adhesives sectors.
Up to 12 bio-based materials will be subject to advanced performance testing after preliminary screenings of many more candidates. In addition, the most advanced bio-based polyester candidates will be evaluated in the light of the environmental, social and economic impacts of the new bio-based value chains these materials create - safe by design- with the results being benchmarked against the conventional petrochemical-based alternatives.
The results will, among others, serve to establish the basis of new value chains as well as to inform standards that adequately describe new applications of bio-based products.
The CHAMPION project is being funded by the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 887398.