CORDIS - EU research results

Degradable commodity plastics from metallosupramolecular polymers

Project description

New biodegradable polymers could alleviate commodity plastics' environmental impact

Plastic pollution, including tiny fragments known as microplastics, can adversely affect the environment, wildlife and humans. Only a very small percentage of commodity plastics are recycled. Much of the rest is incinerated, sits in landfills or is abandoned in the environment. Biodegradable plastics can ease this problem, especially if these are made from renewable resources. The combination of biodegradability and renewability allows to reduce the use of fossil fuel resources, decrease the material's carbon footprint, and lead to a faster decomposition. The EU-funded DECOMPOSE project plans to synthesise supramolecular polymers containing metal ions (metallosupramolecular polymers) and precursors from renewable resources to facilitate recycling and degradation of commodity polymers. The project will offer researchers the opportunity to improve their scientific skills and expand their network in the field of polymer and material science.


The need for more sustainable and environmentally-friendly products and materials is driven by an increasing environmental and health awareness, opening new markets with significant economic potential. Specifically, plastic and microplastic pollution are parts of an environmental hazard which have received significant media attention over the last few years. The difficulty in recycling commodity plastics means that incineration and landfills are the predominant ways of dealing with this waste. Novel materials are necessary to tackle these issues and facilitate the recycling and degradation of (commodity) polymers. Building on the expertise of the host supervisor (Prof. Christoph Weder) and his group at the Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, in the field of supramolecular polymers and material science, novel materials based on metallosupramolecular polymers will be developed which are envisaged to provide a solution to the above issues. Moreover, a novel platform for metallosupramolecular polymers based on renewable building blocks will be developed which allow to prepare bio-based, benign, and (bio)degradable metallosupramolecular polymer precursors. This MSCA will provide the applicant with the unique opportunity to improve his scientific skill set and network in the scientific community and allow the applicant to apply for independent academic positions in the polymer and material science field by the end of this fellowship.



Net EU contribution
€ 191 149,44
1700 Fribourg

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Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Espace Mittelland Fribourg / Freiburg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 191 149,44