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Green routes to functional materials

The plastic industry contributes around 23% of the total sales in the European chemical industry but is traditionally heavily reliant on petrochemicals for their raw material, additives and reaction media (solvents). REFINE will develop sustainable routes to functional materials (green routes) for various polymer/plastic applications. The network will make use of integrated approaches combining green raw materials, green synthesis (biotechnology) and green processing. This will be complemented by critical life cycle analyses and end-user benchmarking. The network will demonstrate these concepts by targeting selected relevant industrial applications, which are fundamentally dependent upon polymers such as thin film applications (coatings, personal care, etc.).

Its leading experts in polymer and material science and biotechnology from six academic and research institutions, two multinational industrial end-users from different application areas (performance polymers and personal care products) and 1 SMEs will make use of integrated approaches combining green raw materials, green synthesis and green processing. These three elements will systematically be linked in a chain of knowledge approach and complemented through critical life cycle analyses by an SME with specific expertise in ecological process evaluation.

REFINE will develop a green technology, which can directly be validated and integrated by industry and thus lead towards a greener and more sustainable society.