The universal issue of sustainability
Sustainability and environmental protection are omnipresent terms in public discourse in connection with plastics these days. Society is calling for sustainable concepts and improved ecological footprints. Yet at the same time, it is interested in keeping the undeniable benefits of polymers in their many areas of application
We are therefore conducting research in three important areas to investigate and improve the sustainability of polymer materials. To begin with, we are investigating the impact of existing plastic products on the environment, for example in the form of microplastics. In order to improve sustainability in the long term, we are developing polymer solutions derived from biobased and biodegradable starting materials in our various research areas. And finally, we deal with the recycling of polymers.
Selected areas of application for our research
- Energy technology
- Sports technology
- Medical technology
- Electric & electronics
The main focus in the area of environmental protection is dedicated to avoiding the entry of microplastics into the environment. The impact of microplastics on ecosystems is being studied by many research groups around the world. The formation of microplastics, on the other hand, is largely unexplored. This is where we start to gain new knowledge about the sources of microplastics in an interdisciplinary special research area. From this, we derive material science concepts in order to reduce or avoid the occurrence in the future.
The use of renewable raw materials as the basis for polymer materials is important in all of our research areas. The substitution of petrochemical polymers by bio-based (and biodegradable) polymers requires more then the modification of the biopolymers in order to meet the property requirements. At the same time, adapted and new processing methods are required. Our research over the last few years has given us extensive experience in foams, resins, composites and thermoplastics.