Biobased Materials Projects
Niet ge- definieerd

Technology development for the production of functionalized biobased aromatics

Bio-HArT

In Dutch, the acronym BIO-HArT stands for 'Biorizon Innovation and Upscaling of Renewable Aromatics Technology'. Over the past years Biorizon has developed three commercially promising technologies for the conversion of wood, sugars and lignin into aromatics. By demonstrating the technology within this project on a larger scale, the confidence in the applicability of the technology on an industrial scale enhances and the risk to invest diminishes. Simultaneously bio-aromatics will be produced in sufficient quantities to be able to start application development routes.

"The BIO-HArT-project is of great importance to be able to accomplish our final goal: enable commercial production of bio-aromatic by 2025", says scientific manager of Biorizon Jan Harm Urbanus.

Next step in industry-driven roadmap of Biorizon

This project is the next step in the industry-driven roadmap of Shared Research Center Biorizon. The BIO-HArT-project has got 3 goals:

  • Development of optimized procedures for chemistry and process.
  • Realization of generic and multi-purpose bench scale demonstrators for the 3 technologies (wood, sugars and lignin to aromatics).
  • Producing samples of sugars, lignin, furans, akylphenols, mono-, di- & tri-acids, functionalized phenols and other aromatic compounds. Subsequently, together with the industry applications will be developed on the basis of these samples.

Together with the industry the project results of BIO-HArT will be further developed and eventually they will be implemented in new value chains in which multiple feedstock suppliers, chemical companies and end users will be incorporated and in which existing and new production locations will be used.

More info on BIO-HArT  

Biobased Materials - Why this programme?
Niet ge- definieerd

Biobased materials for high-quality applications

Beets to Polymers

The challenge for this project is to apply chemicals from sugar derivatives to new materials that can be implemented in a number of different markets. The target materials derive their right to exist from a unique set of functionalities that are available at an acceptable price from the local sugar industry. At present, incumbent materials are often (solely) fossil, have a different achievement profile and being internationally procured for this application. Besides this, the appropriate materials will at first be produced in limited but sufficient quantities, in order to gain scientific insights and to connect with the buyer’s demands.

Maastricht University and Groningen University have the appropriate knowledge and equipment at their disposal to provide industrial-grade samples from within their laboratories. If these perform sufficiently they can be put through an upscaling program. The industrial partners in the consortium are Suikerunie, Philips and Astron.

Biobased Materials - Projects - Robox
Niet ge- definieerd

Techno-economic viability of biotransformations

ROBOX

The Robox project demonstrates the techno-economic viability of biotransformations of four types of robust oxidative enzymes:

  • P450 monooxygenases (P450s),
  • Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs),
  • Alcohol dehydrogenases (ADHs),
  • Alcohol oxidases (AOXs).

The two pillars for the ROBOX project are chemistry and biocatalysis. These are used for the industrial conversion and production of alcohols that have been identified to be significant to the chemical industry. ROBOX will identify and engineer robust enzymes to lead to new green chemical processes.

ROBOX has received funding from the European Union (EU) project ROBOX (grant agreement n° 635734) under EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme Research and Innovation actions H2020-LEIT BIO-2014-1.

Go to ROBOX-website
Moleculair design of high-end materials for 3D printing
Niet ge- definieerd

Additive manufacturing with/using polymers

Moleculair design of high-end materials for 3D printing

Additive manufacturing, often referred to as 3D printing, is a rapid developing technology that offers extraordinary dimensional flexibility and control in the manufacturing of complex geometries. Exquisite examples are found in metals, like patient-specific implants and even in printing of biological tissue. However, additive manufacturing with/using polymers serves often solely rapid prototyping. Failing of layered “welds” prevents a macroscopic contribution of intrinsic material properties under load. Polymers are attractive due to their ‘normally’ relatively easy processability, low density and tuneable properties, all available at a low cost. The cause is that the identity and properties of the materials are correlated to the structural organisation of the atomic building blocks, whether or not connected. In metals the atoms pool their electrons in a common sea, but upon cooling from the melt (the state of matter that allows changing macroscopic geometry), the atoms organize into a unified product relatively easy.

Also in the case of biological tissue the end product is ‘alive’ and yields macroscopically unified product performance. In polymers however, diffusion into a unified product demands significant timescales since the atomic building blocks are connected to form long molecules. To limit this time somewhat or even to ‘gain’ some extra time, it is necessary that material developers optimize polymer materials molecularly to the various 3D print processes. Just like it has been done in the past for extrusion, injection moulding, fibre spinning etc.

The development of 3D printing to a fully appreciated production technology requires hardware and material developments, which usually go hand in hand. The developments in the field of printing technology (the ‘hardware’), are ahead of schedule, whilst the necessary material development is lagging behind. For the professionalizing and promotion of 3D printing of polymer materials, this proposed research focusses on the optimization of polymer materials on a molecular level tailored to the use in existing and still to be developed hardware.

BIO4SELF
Niet ge- definieerd

Fully biobased self-reinforced polymer composites

BIO4SELF

BIO4SELF aims at fully biobased self-reinforced polymer composites (SRPC). To produce the SRPCs two polylactic acid (PLA) grades are required: a low melting temperature (Tm) one to form the matrix and an ultra high stiffness and high Tm one to form the reinforcing fibres. To reach unprecedented stiffness in the reinforcing PLA fibres, we will combine PLA with bio-LCP (liquid crystalline polymer) for nanofibril formation. Further, we will increase the temperature resistance of PLA and improve its durability. This way, BIO4SELF will exploit recent progress in PLA fibre technology. We will add inherent self-functionalization via photocatalytic fibres (self-cleaning properties), tailored microcapsules (self-healing properties) and deformation detecting fibres (self-sensing).

Prototype composite parts for automotive and home appliances will be demonstrators to illustrate the much broader range of industrial applications, e.g. furniture, construction and sports goods. Our developments will enable to use biobased composites for high end applications, thus contributing to using sustainable and renewable raw materials. Being able to produce, process and sell these novel SRPCs and related composite intermediates will be a clear competitive advantage. First estimates predict a market of at least 35 kton/year, corresponding to ca. 165 M€, within 5 years.

BIO4SELF is a well balanced mix of end users (large enterprises to maximise impact), technology providers (mainly R&D driven SMEs), R&D actors (RTDs and universities) and innovation support (specialised SMEs). It covers the required expertise, infrastructure, and industrial know-how to realise the innovation potential of the novel high performance biobased SRPCs, both during and beyond the project.

Department of Biobased Materials Projects
Niet ge- definieerd

Research on polymer membranes on the basis of renewable copolymers

Polymer membranes based on renewable copolymers

NWO has announced that in the context of the ‘Fonds Nieuwe Chemische Innovaties’ (NCI), they have granted a subsidy for the collaboration between Maastricht University and SABIC for the research on polymer membranes on the basis of renewable copolymers. The subsidy is meant for public-private collaborations between a company and a university to tackle research questions set by the business world.

The project will be headed by Maastricht University’s Dr. Katrien Bernaerts, university docent and specialist in polymer chemistry for bio based materials. For SABIC, Rob Duchateau, chief scientist, is responsible for the polymerization catalysis and the development of new polymers. In this project, the researchers from UM and SABIC will produce polymer membranes, that can be applied in, for example, water purification. To do this they will need to develop new block and graft copolymers that arrange themselves on a nanoscale. By selectively degrading / removing one of the components, pores appear in the membranes. The polymer that is removed, bio based (not fossil) and can be reused, which makes this research very ‘green’.  During the research, knowledge will be gathered to steer the characteristics of the porous membranes.

Biobased Materials Plus
Niet ge- definieerd

Developing teaching modules and research projects for students

Biobased Materials Plus

Maastricht University is developing an innovative learning environment in the field of biobased materials for talented students and professionals on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen.

The biobased economy is an economy in which biomass (not oil) is the most important resource for materials. In the south of Holland many companies are active in material research. Some have already scaled up from laboratories to pilot plants for the production of new biobased building blocks for polymer materials. The aim is to create economic value, more commercial activity and an increase employment opportunities.

In order to accelerate the biobased transition and the economic activity we will need to fast-track the recruitment and training of international top talent. With the financial support of the Province of Limburg, Maastricht University has specially developed the master Biobased Materials, which is situated on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. This program is 2 year, multi-disciplinary course that focusses on the development, synthesis, production and application of new biobased and sustainable materials.

To increase the inflow of international students and professionals, the university is collaborating with Zuyd Hogeschool, CHILL, Avans Hogeschool, Brightlands Chemelot Campus, DSM and SABIC in the project Biobased Materials Plus.

Recruiting top talent

"The goal of this project is to improve the connection between education and work field. By connecting international students to companies and knowledge institutions within the biobased economy in the south of Holland during and after their education we hope to bind them to our region.”

- Menno Knetsch 
  Project leader/course manager of the master Biobased Materials, Maastricht University

Within the project Biobased Materials Plus, the involved parties will develop teaching modules and research projects for students. These will be brought under in the innovative Research Based Learning learning environment of the master course.

The innovative education concept Research Based Learning combines academic education and business to the point of creating a unique learning and work environment that contributes to the biobased economy. This research driven beta education is new and is thé form of choice for the Master Biobased Materials. By using complex research issues from the industry and university research groups for the complete program, academic skills are connected to R&D in the biobased business.

Besides this, a HBO honors program and a pre-master program are being developed to create continuous learning from HBO to Academic level, ensuring that local talent is optimally exploited. There are also efforts to develop modules for professionals based on the concept ‘lifelong learning’ within the segment of biobased materials.

Taking the needs of international students into account, an International Students & Support Office will be set up. This office will take care of recruitment, facilities and the outflow into the region.

Biobased Materials Plus

“On the Brightlands campuses, the university links research & education to social engagement and knowledge transfer. By cooperating with other parties from the education, government and business sector, we can add value to this vital infrastructure in Limburg and the Euregio. We focus on core issues such as biobased materials, in which research and educational programs connect seamlessly to the economically relevant topics in the region. By doing this we contribute positively to social developments that will help create new jobs.”

- Martin Paul
  President of Maastricht University

Knetsch: “We are developing this course on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus due to the excellent facilities for education, research and support. And because of the intense collaboration with the businesses on the campus. Situating ourselves on the campus gives us an extra advantage in attracting both national and international students and professionals for our course.”

Twan Beurskens, depute of Economics and knowledge infrastructure for the Province of Limburg: “The development of the biobased economy is also very important to the Province of Limburg. I am very happy that European funds have been made available via OP-Zuid to make courses like this available in our province. It makes Limburg attractive for international talent to study and work.”

OP-Zuid
The Operational Program Zuid-Nederland (OP-Zuid) is a collaborative subsidy program of the provinces Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg, together with the cities Breda, Tilburg, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Eindhoven, Helmond, Venlo, Sittard-Geleen, Heerlen en Maastricht. It is an economic stimulans program that is funded with almost € 186 million by the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRO) and € 46 million by the government. OP-Zuid’s main goal is to improve the competitive power, economic growth and grow employment opportunities in the south of the Netherlands.

Visibility on the campus is crucial

The project Biobased Materials Plus will run until 2019 and has been granted € 820,000 by OP-Zuid, the Operational Programma Zuid-Nederland, a European subsidy program for the South of the Netherlands. The total project budget is € 2,3 million.

Stinging Nettle
Niet ge- definieerd

Novel wound dressing derived from stinging nettles

The Chinese Scholarship Council have granted a scholarship to a PhD-student to come to the Maastricht University for developing a novel wound dressing that is completely derived from the stinging nettle Urtica dioica.

This plant will provide fibers for the dressings as well as bioactive compounds to prevent infection, regulate inflammation and stimulate wound healing. These novel wound dressings will be important for treatment of chronic wounds with human patients.

The supervisors of this PhD-research project will be dr. Menno Knetsch, associate professor in Biobased Materials & Biology, and prof. dr. Stefan Jockenhövel, professor in Tissue Engineering & Textile Implants and scientific director of the Aachen-Maastricht Institute of Biobased Materials.

BioTex
Niet ge- definieerd

Development of fibers and yarns from biopolymers

BioTex Fieldlab

The goal of the project BioTex Fieldlab is co-create the development of new textile products, based on innovative fibers from biobased polymers. Besides Avantiums biopolymers PEF and Corbion’s PLA, the testing ground will focus on a wide range of other biopolymers for the development of textile applications such as bioPET, bioPA, PT, PBS, PHA or completely new developments. The fieldlab is also open to research assignments from companies outside of the initial consortium.

Within the BioTex Fieldlab project, many companies, united within MODINT, AMIBM and CHILL, work together towards an open innovation center, where research is conducted towards the development of fibers and yarns from biopolymers. This fieldlab (a testing ground) is also aimed at the development of new textile production processes and -applications.
 
MODINT is an industry association of 600 textile companies. The Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materiasl (AMIBM) is a research institute of Maastricht University and the RWTH Aachen. Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs (CHILL) is the Center of Expertise in the field of chemistry.
AMIBM and CHILL are located on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen.

The partners of the BioTex Fieldlab work in close collaboration with two industrial producers of biopolymers; Avantium and Corbion and with SME’s from the textile industry, sofar being; Star Sock, Desso, Bonar, Van Puijenbroek, Edel Group, Rinos, Auping and Best Wool Carpets. The participating companies originate from various parts of the country and have their own production and R&D department in the Netherlands and see market opportunities for biobased products.

Synthesis of Polymers for Healthcare applications
Niet ge- definieerd

Address synthesis routes for development of the next generation of polymers

Synthesis of Polymers for Healthcare applications

Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) is one of the most commonly used polymers for the production of prostheses. The polymer can be synthesized using monomers from fossil base as well as bio-based sources such as bio-ethanol.

With the advances in polymer chemistry, and our understanding of molecular control for ultimate mechanical properties, in this project Maastricht University and Teijin will address synthesis routes for development of the next generation of polymers by controlling morphology to achieve the ultimate mechanical properties, while maintaining the same molecular configuration. The adopted approach will overcome the existing problem of sintering in UHMWPE that reduces the life time of prostheses, whereas the number-average molar mass greater than a million g/mol will reduce the adhesive wear thus increasing the life time of hip-prosthesis.

  • Technology development for the production of functionalized biobased aromatics

    Bio-HArT

    Dit is er niet
  • Biobased materials for high-quality applications

    Beets to Polymers

    Dit is er niet
  • Techno-economic viability of biotransformations

    ROBOX

    Dit is er niet
  • Additive manufacturing with/using polymers

    Moleculair design of high-end materials for 3D printing

    Dit is er niet
  • Fully biobased self-reinforced polymer composites

    BIO4SELF

    Dit is er niet
  • Research on polymer membranes on the basis of renewable copolymers

    Polymer membranes based on renewable copolymers

    Dit is er niet
  • Developing teaching modules and research projects for students

    Biobased Materials Plus

    Dit is er niet
  • Novel wound dressing derived from stinging nettles

    Dit is er niet
  • Development of fibers and yarns from biopolymers

    BioTex Fieldlab

    Dit is er niet
  • Address synthesis routes for development of the next generation of polymers

    Synthesis of Polymers for Healthcare applications

    Dit is er niet