Producing new biodegradable polymers using CO2

6 May 2024
Producimos nuevos polímeros biodegradables utilizando CO2

“GAIKER, UPV/EHU, BCMaterials, NEIKER, ACLIMA and TECNALIA have opened up lines of research that will offer an opportunity to improve business competitiveness from different perspectives”

The PREBIO2 project, led by TECNALIA, helps to develop new biodegradable and renewable polymers using CO2 emissions and biomass as raw materials.

The PREBIO2 project aims to address two major challenges to achieve the EU’s climate neutrality goals. Bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics are appearing in our daily lives as a resource-efficient, circular alternative to fossil-based plastics. CO2 capture and storage and its use as a raw material will also make a significant contribution to European ecological transition targets. This will be particularly important in sectors where it is more difficult to reduce emissions, such as cement and energy recovery from waste.

Synthesis of polycarbonates from CO2

PREBIO2 has focused on generating knowledge of the synthesis of polycarbonates, a type of plastic, from CO2, as well as their processing and use in different applications for agriculture, health and printed electronics. TECNALIA has produced different types of polycarbonates using CO2, thus promoting the use of CO2 as a raw material and its circularity.

AI models have been developed to predict macroscopic characteristics of the materials based on the structure of the monomers (the units that make up the polymers). These developments will significantly reduce experiment times in the future, bringing about a real revolution in the design of new materials.

The absence of cytotoxicity of the developed materials has also been validated, which opens the door to their use in the field of healthcare.

Collaboration between different Basque organisations

In this project, TECNALIA has collaborated with GAIKER, UPV/EHU, BCMaterials, NEIKER and ACLIMA. Together they have opened up lines of research that will offer an opportunity to improve business competitiveness from different perspectives: eco-design of products, development of more sustainable production processes, reduction of the consumption of fossil raw materials, and direct reduction of CO2 emissions.

PREBIO is funded by the Elkartek programme of the Basque Government’s Department for Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment.