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CHAMPION: Circular High-performance Aza-Michael Polymers as Innovative materials Originating from Nature

Polymers are an essential element of many aspects of modern life. However, many rely on non-renewable feedstocks and present a range of environmental issues, both during production and once they reach the end-of-life phase. The objective of the CHAMPION project is to replace these existing materials with bio-based polymers – based on the aza-Michael addition reaction – that are suitable for high-performance applications.

The applications will include coatings, textiles, home care (HC) formulation, and structural adhesives. Examples of uses would include kitchen counter coatings, car interior surfaces, laundry detergent and adhesives for industrial composites. The new materials will perform as well as, or better than, existing polymers from non-renewable sources while being circular by design. This will make them superior to current materials by ensuring that they are biodegradable and/or suitable for recycling.

The specific objectives of the project are to:

  • Produce a library of more than 50 novel bio-derivable materials, based on polyesters, pendants and cross-linkers, using the aza-Michael addition reaction for chain extension, modification and curing.

  • Increase the environmental and economic performance of the targeted polymers by establishing an innovative, cost-effective testing strategy that can rapidly evaluate toxicological safety issues of candidate products.

  • Produce at least four bio-derivable materials – one for each application detailed below – on a suitable scale for application testing in an industrial setting.

  • Submit four new bio-based aza-Michael-addition polymer candidates with high performance in HC formulation additives, structural adhesives, coatings and automotive interior surfaces to industrial partners for testing.

  • Increase overall resource efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the targeted applications.

  • Validate new and improved processing technologies and evaluate, in industrial-scale production processes, two to three of the most advanced bio-based polyester candidates in potential environmental, social and economic terms. These will be benchmarked against the conventional petrochemical-based alternatives.

  • Communicate with key audiences and stakeholders and gather feedback from policymakers and market actors along the entire value chain in order to undertake the market analysis.