Sustainability and environment protection

Sustainable design of polymer materials and development of polymers for application in environment protection

Future polymer materials have to be designed sustainably and ideally follow a “cradle to cradle” philosophy. In the development of such new materials, researchers at the IPF take advantage of the close interlocking between synthetic chemistry and polymer processing to use biogenic resources in the development of alternatives to conventional polymers suited for technical use.
However, biological systems do not only deliver raw materials. They also provide new concepts for self-healing materials and for the hierarchical design of materials and systems.
Release of micro- and nanoplastics may cause environmental hazards. The IPF contributes to addressing this challenge by developing and applying innovative analytical methods for the identification of polymeric micro- and nanoparticles in the environment and for obtaining a better understanding of their interactions with biological systems.
In addition, polymers help to advance environmental technologies, e.g. as absorber materials for water treatment and membranes for energy-efficient separating processes.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Fery, Prof. Dr. Brigitte Voit, Prof. Dr. Markus Stommel