The research project (Bio NIPU) is part of a larger European private-public cooperation Interreg V Flanders-the Netherlands which focuses on the development of 100% biobased and non-toxic polyurethane for endproducts in the textile and synthetic rubber industry.
The production of biopolymers for commercial applications is increasing year after year. The transition to biobased materials has also started within the synthetic rubber and textile industry. The textile sector wants to produce at least 20% of its products from biomaterial by 2030. However, biopolymers for textile coatings and synthetic rubber (elastomers), such as polyurethane, are only available for a limited number of applications and are not completely bio-based. For example, polyurethane contains substances that are associated with asthma and other chronic diseases. At European level, a restriction on the use of such substances was proposed.
The Bio NIPU project therefore focuses on research into alternative, non-toxic building blocks for the synthesis of polyurethane. Fully renewable raw materials - such as waste products from sugar refining and the production of biodiesel as well as natural oils and fats - are used to develop biobased polyurethanes.
As the post-doc of Maastricht University, you will play an active role in the Bio NIPU consortium. You are responsible for the synthesis of the biobased non-isocyanate polyurethanes, and to evaluate their potential in mainly coating and thermoplastic polyurethane applications. The candidate will collaborate with researchers at both universities and industrial partners, and based on their feedback, the research will be tuned. The candidate is open to upscale successful leads in the lab for application testing by industrial partners.
The post-doc will be appointed at the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM), which is part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. You will work in the Sustainable Polymer Synthesis group of Associate Professor Katrien Bernaerts, which focusses on the synthesis and design of polymer materials with tunable properties exploiting the functionality of biobased building blocks. You will operate from the Brightlands-Chemelot Campus in Geleen (Nl), where the labs of AMIBM are located.