The focus of our Sustainable Materials group is on the synthesis of materials using biobased building blocks. Some of our research in this area is aimed at improving the properties – such as impact strength – of biobased materials. We also carry out material properties tests.
By combining existing knowledge in the field of petroleum-based polymers and knowledge of biobased materials and their building blocks, the group quickly and efficiently finds solutions to our customers’ challenges.
An example of a Sustainable Materials project:
Producing biopolymers from waste water
Industry generates a lot of waste water that has little or no residual value. The Netherlands Technology Foundation (STW) has started a programme, ‘From Waste to Resource’, aimed at adding value to waste water. PTG/e is involved in this project and is responsible for reviewing the materials produced from waste water and their application potential.
One of the projects in this programme, ‘Production of PHAs from Waste’, is aimed at producing the biomaterial PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates) from waste water with the help of bacteria. A trial run was performed at a pilot plant installed at a chocolate factory and a paper mill, both in the Netherlands.
PTG/e analysed the polymer produced in the pilot plant and examined its potential as a substitute for materials currently being used in these factories – in other words, the possibility to convert a waste stream into a new raw material.
Short movie about this project (in Dutch):
Equipment and Techniques
The equipment at our facilities includes tensile and impact testers which enable us to test the mechanical properties of biomaterials. A wide range of reactors is also present for the modification of materials.
The Sustainable Materials expertise group makes use of techniques such as DSC, TGA and – for determining molecular weight – SEC and HT-SEC.
Read more about the equipment and techniques we use:Equipment & Techniques