Currently there is no alternative technology which could compete with existing thermoplastics processing, a process by which the majority of materials are produced through refining oil, polymerisation and extrusion, all at high temperatures.
Current bio-based polymers possess a small market share and are not considered a major threat to conventional petrochemical polymers. We intend to change this landscape with FLIPT.
Research AimOur aim is to understand and reverse engineer natural aquamelts in order to establish a completely new bioinspired paradigm for polymer processing. Furthermore not only will this be a completely disruptive technology platform, it also promises to be orders of magnitude more energy efficient and “greener”; being performed at room temperature and water being the only direct by-product of processing. Such ambition can only be achieved through a highly interdisciplinary consortium and partnership which we have assembled consisting of the diverse fields of zoology, botany, chemistry, physics and materials science and SME partners. Once accomplished, this project could generate an entirely new state-of-the-art competence and technology for the EU where our novel chemistry and predictive models will be used to design and produce a new range of materials from synthetic or natural sources that can access an aquamelt’s low energy processing.