Seeking new biodegradable building blocks and technologies for green polymers
Deadline : 2020-01-29
In Personal Care products, synthetic polymers (e.g. Polyacrylates) are mostly - but not exclusively - used as thickening agents. Already small quantities (< 1%) enable the formation of a gel network, which is most desired for the product handling and appearance, as well as the sensorial properties. Since most synthetic polymers are not biodegradable, they may fall under the scope of being a microplastic and could therefore be imposed to labeling in nearby future. This threat is most unwanted by personal care companies and their suppliers, which in turn results in a growing interest for green alternatives. Currently used biopolymers (e.g. Xanthan Gum, Cellulose, etc.) do not show the same performance as their synthetic acrylate-based counterparts. Same is valid for green polymers, which are based on biorenewable monomers (e.g. glycerol, sebacic acids, etc.). At the moment, the skin feel and the viscosity building properties of these bio- and green polymers do not meet the requirements of the broad market, and remain thus rather a niche product. Despite the huge interest of the industry in green alternatives, successful candidates are a rarity, due to numerous technical and commercial hurdles. It is therefore most important to find partnerships with universities, start-ups, or well-established companies, which may lead to the development of new biorenewable building blocks and technologies.