UV-licht als drijvende kracht achter biologisch afbreekbare polymeren
Ondernemers sociëteit voedingsindustrie
B2B Communications
Wallbrink Crossmedia
Check this out

UV Light: Unlocking the Potential of Circular Polymers

  • 12 December 2023

In the pursuit of a sustainable circular economy, Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is delving into the ULTRADREAM project, investigating the development of biobased renewable polymers with inherent biodegradability. This initiative aims to mitigate environmental pollution caused by synthetic materials, even in a circular future.

The research focuses on incorporating specific bio-derived monomers into polymers to enhance their biological breakdown through exposure to UV light, such as sunlight. If successful, this approach could reduce the issue of accumulation and persistence of polymers at the end of their lifespan. Project leader Ghazal Tavakoli Gheinani emphasizes that integrating certain building blocks into the original polymer structure can augment biological degradation. These resulting polymers could find applications in packaging, agricultural mulch films, decorative coatings, and paper coatings.

Biodegradability with Property Preservation

Tavakoli Gheinani, an expert in organic chemistry, underscores that the ULTRADREAM project not only focuses on degradation but also on preserving the desired properties of the polymers. Developing technologies and protocols to successfully break down these materials while retaining the optimal combination of UV degradability poses a crucial challenge. The goal is to take a significant step towards a sustainable circular economy.

Circular Raw Materials and Practical Applications

The project utilizes photolabile monomers and original polymers sourced from agricultural byproducts, transforming low-value non-food residues into high-quality functional products. In collaboration with partners Archer Daniels Midland, AkzoNobel, and Oerlemans Plastics, the exploration extends to how these new materials can be applied, with a particular focus on coatings and mulch films for agriculture. Collaborating with industrial partners contributes to both the circular objectives of these companies and the practical applicability of research outcomes. The diverse project team, comprising chemists, material, and process engineers, ensures a seamless transition from laboratory developments to practical solutions for a broad audience.


Source: WUR