• Electrochemical conversion of CO2 into sustainable plastic materials

Air Clean Up

Electrochemical conversion of CO2 into sustainable plastic materials

May 30 2023

Avantium N.V., a prominent player in the field of renewable chemistry, has recently secured a significant grant of €1.5 million from the EU Horizon Europe program. This grant is part of their involvement in the research and development initiative known as HICCUPS1, which focuses on demonstrating the use of CO2 as a raw material for producing sustainable polyesters. The funding will be disbursed to Avantium in instalments over a four-year period, commencing in September 2023.

Avantium is at the forefront of advancing and commercializing cutting-edge technologies for manufacturing materials derived from sustainable carbon sources, including biomass and CO2 from the atmosphere. Among its innovative platforms, Volta Technology stands out by utilizing electrochemistry to convert CO2 into valuable chemical building blocks and polyesters.

Within the framework of the HICCUPS program, Avantium will undertake the task of converting CO2 derived from biogas generated at wastewater treatment plants into a sustainable plastic material called PLGA (polylactic-co-glycolic acid). PLGA with a glycolic acid content of 80% or more exhibits exceptional oxygen and moisture barrier properties, as well as favourable mechanical characteristics. Moreover, it is recyclable, home compostable, and degradable in marine environments. PLGA can serve various applications, including coatings and moulded plastic materials, presenting itself as an excellent alternative to fossil-based polyethylene.

The HICCUPS program, with a total EU Horizon Europe grant of €5 million, aims to showcase the complete value chain from biogenic CO2 to the end use of polyesters. This ambitious endeavour is expected to span four years. Avantium will take the lead in the HICCUPS consortium, consisting of 11 other industry and academic organizations: Funditec (Spain), University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), INRAE (France), ACCIONA (Spain), Nova Institut (Germany), VTT (Finland), University of Ferrara (Italy), Tecnopackaging (Spain), Aqualung (Norway), SINTEF (Norway), and Walki (Finland).

Annelie Jongerius, Technology Manager at Avantium and scientific coordinator of HICCUPS, expressed her pride in spearheading the development of CO2-based polyesters. She looks forward to collaborating with likeminded organizations in the field of Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) through the HICCUPS program. Jongerius believes that the receipt of this prestigious European Horizon grant is a testament to Avantium's expertise in electrochemical conversion of CO2 into high-value polyesters, as well as their ability to innovate and create novel materials.

The Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking, funded under the European Union's Horizon Europe programme.


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