WAALWIJK, Netherlands – Stahl will be one of the partners in a research and innovation action aiming to replace conventional polymers with novel bio-based polymers for their application in coatings, textiles, home care uses and structural adhesives, named CHAMPION (Circular High-performance Aza-Michael Polymers as Innovative Materials Originating from Nature). CHAMPION, which will launch its activities for three and a half years starting in June 2020, is geared towards making polymer-based products better suited to modern sustainability needs. The project has been awarded Horizon 2020 BBI JU funding and includes 14 partners from six European countries coordinated by the University of York.

Professor James Clark, coordinator of the CHAMPION project, said, “The current approaches to polymer production are not compatible with the EU’s circular economy and green ambitions; the CHAMPION project will develop suitable, even superior replacements.”

Many conventional polymers are not fit for recycling and end up being incinerated or landfilled. Some of the chemicals used in their production may result in toxic emissions depending on the end-of-life process they go through. These characteristics stand in contrast to the EU’s green credentials and its ambitions to create a circular economy. Novel CHAMPION bio-based polymers result from the aza-Michael addition reaction and are expected to be suitable replacements for polymers used in resistant kitchen counter coatings, laundry detergents and other homecare products, car interior surfaces, and structural adhesives. Recovery, chemical recycling and organic recycling (with the option of controlled energy recovery) are the end-of-life options planned for the design of products using CHAMPION polymers.

CHAMPION project aims to produce a library of more than 50 novel bio-derivable materials using the aza-Michael addition reaction for chain extension, modification and curing; increase the environmental and economic performance of the novel polymers by developing biodegradable alternatives and establishing an innovative testing strategy to rapidly evaluate toxicological safety issues of candidate products; produce and submit to industrial partners for testing four novel bio-based polymer candidates with high performance for home caring formulation additives, structural adhesives, coatings and automotive interior surfaces; increase the overall resource efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the targeted applications; validate new and improved processing technologies and evaluate the most advanced bio-based polyester candidates in environmental, social and economic terms, and benchmark results against the conventional petrochemical-based alternatives; and communicate with key audiences and stakeholders and gather feedback from policymakers and market actors along the entire value chain.

The CHAMPION consortium is integrated by University of York - United Kingdom, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (WFBR) – the Netherlands, BioDetection Systems BV – the Netherlands, Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy – Finland, Process Design Center BV – the Netherlands, OWS NV – Belgium, Circa Sustainable Chemicals Ltd – United Kingdom, Unilever UK Central Resources Ltd - United Kingdom, nova-Institut für Politische und Ökologische Innovation GmbH – Germany, Ava Biochem BSL AG – Switzerland, Stahl International BV – the Netherlands, Orineo BV – Belgium, SQ Consult BV – the Netherlands, and Scott Bader Co Ltd. - United Kingdom.

The CHAMPION project is receiving funding from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 887398.

For more information about CHAMPION, contact the project manager directly at champion-project-admin@york.ac.uk.