High performance polymers owe their unique thermomechanical properties to rigid aromatic building blocks often combined with a 3D cross-linked structure. One drawback of this permanently cross- linked system is that such polymers cannot be reprocessed or recycled which partially contributes to the massive amount of plastic waste that is generated by our society. In addition, the majority of our polymer production relies on fossil-based resources, whereas the contribution of renewable feedstock remains extremely low.

Therefore, this PhD project will focus on the development of sustainable polymers considering both the up-stream side as well as the down-stream side of the value chain. The upstream side will involve the synthesis of (semi)aromatic biopolymers derived from lignin precursors as a renewable feedstock. These lignin precursors will allow us to develop newly high-performance polymers due to the multifunctional aromatic structure of lignin. On the other hand, the down-stream side will be devoted to the expansion of the service life of the developed biopolymers. This will be accomplished by the integration of adaptive properties such as self-healing and reshaping possibilities into the final polymer system.

In this project, we consider every single step of the life cycle of the developed materials starting from the feedstock to the final application possibilities. This allows us to contribute to a more ecological material production presenting ‘smart’ biopolymers.
Effective start/end date1/11/1931/10/21

    Flemish discipline codes

  • Polymers and plastics

    Research areas

  • bio-aromatic polymers, Sustainability, adaptive properties

ID: 47876915