The sustainable production of future materials is key to the greenification of the chemical industry and society at large. ARC CBBC is working on the development of new materials that are produced from renewable resources and have innovative properties.
The material transition: An important step to a carbon-neutral future
The design, production and recycling of the materials of the future will play a crucial role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as in the regulation of our waste streams. Envisioning new materials based on renewable sources and produced with low carbon dioxide emissions is of the utmost importance given our present circumstances. Innovative materials with augmented features (what we refer to as ‘smart materials’) will also play an important role in this and enhance the sustainability of the materials sector. Also, new building blocks will be designed to facilitate the recycling of materials and create materials with new possibilities in terms of their application.
ARC CBBC contributes to the materials transition and a carbon neutral future by developing:
- New catalyst technologies: The development of new catalytic technologies for a wide variety of applications, such as the conversion of greenhouse gas emission and harmful pollutants, the production of new, primarily biobased materials and green chemistries that rely on light and electricity as energy sources.
- New bio-based building blocks and materials: Chemical building blocks obtained not from fossil fuels but alternative sources can diminish the carbon impact of materials. We aim to develop new carbon materials and bio-based coatings made out of new building blocks stemming from renewable sources such as wood. Materials should also be designed specifically to ensure their recyclability.
- Smart materials: Materials can be given ground-breaking properties that extend their durability. This includes self-healing properties as well as dynamic, adaptive and responsive properties such as optical features, energy storage, and heat and light-responsive coatings.
ARC CBBC’s research programme also focuses on the development of chemical recycling routes to plastic recycling and methods for the conversion of plastic waste into valuable compounds that comprise the basis of new plastics or other base chemicals. This is expected to be a turning point with regard to current waste treatment issues and, at the same time, to contribute to the feedstock transition by using building blocks that do not rely on fossil fuels (see our multilateral project ‘New Chemistry for a Sustainable Future’).