Technological watch

Sulzer and Wageningen partner for bio-based foamed materials

Sulzer Chemtech has announced a strategic partnership with Wageningen Food & Biobased Research. The global process technology specialist and research institute are combining their capabilities to develop new methods to produce competitive bio-based foamed polymers. These will provide material properties equivalent to their fossil-based counterparts while featuring extremely low environmental footprints.

Polymer foams have been in the market for more than 80 years and play a central role in products used in our everyday lives, from sofas and beds to food packaging for takeaways. Their light weight and good thermal insulation properties can support a broad range of applications. Nevertheless, their limited recyclability and sustainability are significant challenges that companies and research institutes need to overcome to support a circular economy of plastic.

Foaming process and foaming technology to marketWith a focus on the development of scalable processing methods for bio-based foamed materials, the partnership between Sulzer Chemtech and Wageningen Food & Biobased Research aims to increase the market share of cost-competitive bio-based polymers in different sectors. The development of key manufacturing processes and technologies will help Sulzer Chemtech’s customers and end users benefit from solutions that anticipate the needs of tomorrow. These include providing more sustainable materials. In effect, the use of renewable materials in foamed products can reduce the carbon footprint of goods, improving their attractiveness from both a financial and sustainability standpoint.

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research will bring its ample experience in sustainable innovation, i.e. biobased resources, chemistry, material science and technology, while Sulzer Chemtech, as the leader in separation and mixing technology, will share its extensive knowledge and product portfolio for advanced foaming processes as well as for the production and purification of bio-based monomers.

Publication date: 17/08/2021

Smart Extrusion

This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2022-01-31