Lignin and plant-oil based aromatic polymers

Within the scope of project Mutatio, financed up to 20 million Euros by the Public Investment Banque of France through its  ISI-Oseo agency, coupled with project  « Ecomembrane » financed by the Alsace Reginal Council professor Avérous from ICPEES (an institute of the University of Strasbourg) and  Soprema (France), a global leader  for the waterproofing of buidings and roofs have developed together new sustainable and long lasting polymers.

These are aromatic polymers obtained by the combination of two biomass based components available in wide quantities : lignin , an aromatic oligomer found in forestry and agricultural  by-products and fatty acids forming long aliphatic chains from the hydrolysis of plant oils. Macro-polyols of aromatic-aliphatic structures are formed  which will then chemically react with isocyanates to form mainly biobased polyurethanes. These new polymers are expected to replace fossil based polyurethanes and are reported to show improved application property and an extended durability.

This collaborative project and partnership is continuing with the industrialization phase and will allow Soprema to commercialize biobased long lasting water-proofing membranes for roofs, terraces and buildings in place of bitumen, aluminium foils or fossil base PU. Thereby, Soprema will progress on its strategic objective to reduce by 65% its dependence upon petrochemicals.

Applications in the automotive and transport sectors are also expected to follow through.

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