CORDIS - EU research results

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

Project description

A sustainable approach to polymer production

All polymers are not equal when it comes to recycling; some of them are not easy to handle and end up being incinerated or landfilled. Developing a practical polymer that can break down to its monomer and then be repolymerised has been a long-standing challenge. The aim of the EU-funded CHAMPION project is to create sustainable, recyclable bio-based polymers that can find use in kitchen counter coatings, laundry detergents, car surfaces and structural adhesives. Researchers are aiming particularly for diamine monomers. They plan to synthesise polymers out of these monomers via the aza-Michael addition reactions. The sustainable synthesis of polymers that is expected to be demonstrated in the project is in line with the EU’s strategy to shift towards a circular economy.


The objective of CHAMPION is to develop and demonstrate that novel bio-based polymers can be efficiently synthesised and applied in high-performance applications, beyond plastics, where the current petrochemical-derived materials are not fully fit for purpose. Technologies to be developed in CHAMPION include the reductive amination of bio-based chemicals to create novel sustainable diamine monomers, application of aza-Michael chemistry onto fully bio-derivable polymers, and bio-based unsaturated polyesters from secondary alcohol diols on a kilogram scale. The new materials will be specifically circular by design and assessed as such, thus making them superior to current materials by ensuring that (chemical) recyclability or biodegradability are possible. Applications will be tested by four relevant industry end-users in the coatings, textiles, home care formulation, and structural adhesives sectors. Up to 12 bio-based materials will be subject to advanced performance testing after preliminary screenings of many more candidates. The toxicity of materials, their precursors, and break-down products (e.g. during biodegradation) will be evaluated, as well as the environmental, economic, and social impact of the new bio-based value chains these materials create (safe by design). A cradle-to-grave sustainability assessment will use the benchmarks set by commercial products to quantify performance, resource efficiency, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The producers of two bio-based chemical intermediates in the consortium will form new cross-sector interconnections with the four end-users creating increased business and job opportunities. Dissemination and exploitation of results will be conducted to establish the basis of new value chains and inform Standards fit for describing new applications of bio-based products. At least two bio-based materials are targeted to reach TRL 5, with others in the pipeline for further development as part of the legacy of the project.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 089 541,25
YO10 5DD York North Yorkshire
United Kingdom

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Yorkshire and the Humber North Yorkshire York
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 089 541,25

Participants (15)