Starting grant Prof. De Wildeman

Novel aromatic monomers from biomass

Aromatic monomers, like terephthalic acid, can provide excellent thermal and mechanical properties when incorporated into polymers. Most aromatic monomers are now fossil feedstock based and few bio-based alternatives are available.​


Novel aromatic monomers from biomass preferably provide added functionality as compared to fossil based monomers to be considered a viable alternative. Added functionality in monomers can be achieved in several ways, one of which is modifying conventional aryl systems by substitutions. This research project focusses on the synthesis and development of such new substituted aromatics from biomass which can be incorporated into polymers with added functionality. The objective is to provide scalable synthesis routes to novel monomers and determine their effect on the properties of polymers containing them.


Bio-based aromatics will enable a move to a more sustainable plastic economy while providing new functions to polymers which high-end applications. Possible applications include self-healing materials, conductive materials, ion exchange materials and will find use in new biomedical devices, sensors and micro-electronics.