Circular Chemical Concepts
Chemicals are needed for almost every industrial product. Most of them are based on carbon, more than 85 percent of which currently is sourced from fossil fuels such as oil and gas. In most cases, this carbon ends up in our atmosphere as climate-damaging CO2 when it is burned.
In a climate-neutral industry, where we want to manufacture products for a rapidly growing world population, we will have to source our carbon from renewable resources and, above all, recycle it as often as possible. For most carbon-based chemical products, however, there are still no satisfactory solutions.
To this end, our group is establishing a new class of sustainable platform chemicals based on long-chain dicarboxylic acids. These molecules are our proposal for the efficient chemical use and recycling of carbon in the future.
Our approach enables the production of a wide range of chemical products which, after use, can be completely recycled back to the original central platform chemical. Crucially, our molecules are easily modifiable, yet chemically robust and exceptionally crystalline, which greatly simplifies their recovery.
Chemical products based on our platform chemicals are therefore inherently recyclable, bringing recycling opportunities to applications where it previously seemed impossible. Coupled with their biodegradability, we believe long-chain dicarboxylic acids are the ideal platform for a sustainable chemical industry.
Our aim is to create closed loops. To achieve this, our research covers the entire value chain. We identify new raw materials for the production of our platform chemicals, modify them, open up more areas of application through new chemical products and develop recycling processes to recover our chemicals. A special focus is the development of new materials such as fully recyclable plastics for various applications, including 3D printing.