2 July 2019

Andreia Sousa leads COST Action to develop sustainable plastics

Andreia Sousa leads COST Action to develop sustainable plastics

It aims to develop sustainable plastics based on sugars. It is called FUR4Sustain, is a project of the University of Aveiro and will be funded by the COST program - European Cooperation in Science and Technology. Led by CICECO's researcher Andreia Sousa, the consortium will join 38 institutions from 21 European countries focus on giving more ecological answers for the planet future.

In particular, it is a project to establish an international super-network of experts in various aspects of the value chain of furanic polymers. The consortium is led by Andreia F. Sousa and involves 38 institutions from 21 European countries, namely the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Italy, Finland, Austria, Denmark, Bulgaria, and many others. And also, China and Tunisia.

The intersectoral nature of this network is intended to promote cooperation between industry and research, and nine international companies are involved. The UA project is one of three now funded by the COST European Framework of Actions involving Portuguese institutions but will be the first to be led by CICECO associated laboratory.

Considering the recent debate on the so-called 'plastics' and the pollution they have generated over the years, where the so-called 'plastic island' of the Pacific is perhaps the best illustration of the underlying problem, joining efforts and planning better is the motto of this new network, FUR4Sustain: European network of FURan based chemicals and materials FOR a sustainable development.

In this sense, this network that includes specialists in all aspects of the value chain of the furanic polymers, will consider both the raw material that is at its base, choosing the biomass residues as a primordial renewable source; and the way they are produced (green chemistry being the word of order) and not forgetting the end of life of these polymers considering aspects such as recycling or biodegradation. Marketing and purely financial aspects will also be considered from a lab-to-industry-to-market perspective.

The network will enable a number of partnerships to be developed, such as international exchanges of researchers, conferences, and seminars. At the same time, several summer schools and more comprehensive plastic awareness activities are planned.

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