Sustainable Polymers

Sustainable polymers

Prof. Dr. Frederik Wurm

Polymers have the potential to contribute to a sustainable and circular economy by reducing energy consumption, especially in transportation and construction due to their low weight and durability. However, the majority of polymers are derived from petroleum, a non-renewable fossil fuel. At the Polymer Center Twente, we aim to shift towards more sustainable options such as biobased feedstocks, chemical recycling, and biodegradable alternatives to traditional polymeric materials. Our interdisciplinary teams start at the molecular level, designing and characterizing new polymers, and using state-of-the-art technology to formulate and process them. We also investigate possible end-of-life scenarios and analyze the life cycles of our materials to ensure that they are sustainable throughout their entire lifespan. Examples of our sustainable polymer research include the development of biodegradable packaging materials and biobased polymers for use in various industries.

Hydrolysis and enzymatic degradation of a biobased polymer film based on cellulose © Frederik Wurm