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Polimat: Research areas | Renewable resources
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Renewable resources

The research field focuses on the use of renewable materials for polymer production and on the study of degradation processes and stabilization of natural and modified natural polymer materials. The main stress is on the treatment of biomass, including liquefaction, modification and processing of products to be used as fuel or raw material in further material production. Related is the study of degradation processes in terms of biomass processing, biodegradation and natural material preservation.

Renewable resources, degradation and stabilization

The research project focuses on sustainable polymer systems with a reduced environmental footprint based on the use of renewable resources and/or (bio)degradation. These materials are more neutral regarding CO2 emissions and, unlike conventional polymers, are a part of natural material cycle.

The first project aspect is the use of renewable resources, such as all woody biomass types and other secondary raw materials containing cellulose. The research will also focus on new thermoplastic and duroplastic materials with a high content of biomass (above 90%). The possibility of renewable raw material use lowers the dependence on fossil oil and thus contributes to sustainable development.

The second project aspect refers to the degradation and biodegradation of synthetic polymers through the assessment of key factors affecting organic polymer degradation. The knowledge on degradation mechanisms will be used for stabilization and prevention of oxidative degradation of cellulose in archive and library written and printed documents.

The project objectives fully comply with the goals of the transition toward a low-carbon society. The main topics are the use of waste renewable resources in order to relieve the waste pressure on the environment and products with significantly reduced CO2 footprint.

Key research and development activities:

  • development of new, innovative technologies for liquefaction of biomass,
  • development of new special adhesives for wood industry and polyurethane foam insulation based on liquefied wood and/or other renewable resources,
  • new use of waste PET material for the synthesis of polyesters, epoxy and other polymers for adhesives, composites and other use,
  • development of  methodology for determination of degradation of natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic polymers,
  • determining degradation speed of target polymers under various conditions and the influence of structure/composition and other conditions on biotic and/or abiotic degradation process,
  • development and assessment of new methods for paper stabilization with increased levels of transition metals.
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