Bioinspired chemistry

Sustainable syntheses and materials

In our modern society, products of the chemical industry are a part of almost all areas of daily life and our life quality greatly depends on the sustainable availability of functional chemical synthesis products.

In line with the raw materials change, the central subject of the innovation field Bioinspired Chemistry is to enable the controlled utilization of biomolecular functionalities for the development of innovative and green fine- and specialty chemicals, biobased polymers, and functional materials, applying new synthetic pathways.

We understand bioinspiration as the application of exclusive molecular structures derived from renewable resources and their maximal functional integration in chemical products. In this way, innovations in novel synthesis spaces emerge, allowing for advantageous properties particularly due to their biogenic origin.

For this we connect and combine biobased chemistry with already established technologies for future markets, driving forward demand-meeting developments in a way that is inspired by resources, function, and the chemistry of nature. We consider bioinspired chemistry as a valuable, complementary, enhancing, and viable alternative to the established, mostly fossil based chemistry.

Our concept involves focused interdisciplinary approaches of synthetic and retrosynthetic strategies combining chemical and biological aspects und therefore give way to innovative production processes. We develop holistic solutions for diverse and complex problems. We use knowledge of areas of organic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, biotechnology, polymer chemistry and material processing. Therefore, we can give specific and agile answers to the current challenges due to our interlocking research topics, including techno-economical requirements and practical implementation.

The aim is to expand the toolbox for sustainable synthesis by an overall view on resources, conversion methods, desired product properties, processing technology, and end-of-life scenarios of the products. The performance of the products is evaluated regarding application demands and optimized for industrial usage to achieve technology leaps towards new “green” chemicals and materials comprising new functionality. For this, our leitmotif is “easy access, technologically feasible, and highly functional due to the biobased components”.

Fields of activity and technologies

Bioinspired synthesis routes

 

Organic chemistry

  • Synthesis Development
  • Organic synthesis of small molecules
  • Building blocks for new bio-based thermoplastics and epoxy resins
  • Modified biopolymers
    • Development of purification methods
    • Optimization by means of statistical experimental design
    • Scale-up of syntheses
 

Bioorganic chemistry

  • Chemo-enzymatic synthesis routes
  • Functional proteins: proteins in material and application development

Biobased polymers and materials

 

Biobased polymers and additives

  • Chemical modification of polysaccharides
  • Controlled degradation of lignin
  • Conversion of biomolecules to specialty polymers
    • Polyamides from monoterpenes
  • Development of biobased plasticizers and nucleating agents
  • Additivation of polymersobased materials
 

Plastics technology

  • Extrusion
    • Injection molding
    • Thermal forming processes
    • Production and material processability
  • Chemical analysis
    • Material characterization
    • Material testing
    • Testing of new developed materials
 

Biohybrid materials

  • Catalytically active materials
  • Intelligent or switchable materials
  • Tailor-made solutions for the agricultural industry based on residual materials

Laboratory for technical biopolymers ‒ LTBP

In this project, which is funded by the Bavarian Ministry of State, we cover the entire value chain of biobased materials: from the identification of suitable starting materials, through functionalization, polymerization and additivation, to recyclability and biodegradability.

 

This makes us a competent contact for regional and national industry and research on the subject of biogenic plastics.

 

Dr. Robert Scherf

Dr. Harald Strittmatter

Terpene-based polyamides: Caramid-R® and Caramid-S®

Caramid-R® and Caramid-S® are examples of a new class of polyamides that are produced from monoterpenes which are a side product of the pulp and paper industry. Starting from 3-carene, new lactams are synthesized by a patented process and subsequently polymerized to Caramid-R® and Caramid-S®.

 

 

… for further information refer to our press release: