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Bio-based copolymers for membrane end products for gas separations


Project timeline
June 2020
42 months
November 2023
General Information
The main objective of BIOCOMEM is to develop and validate gas separation membranes at TRL (Technology Readiness Level) 5 using biobased polyether-block-amide copolymers (PEBAs) specially designed to give: higher processability into monolithic hollow fiber membrane; higher gas separation performance, higher resistance to chemical attack (aging), and higher biobased content. The project will start with a bio-based PEBA copolymer (A, Reference bio-PEBA) that is already available from Arkema at TRL8 and shows (at TRL3 - dense flat sheet membrane) better gas permeation properties than the fossil fuel counterparts (PEBAX® MV 1074 and PEBAX® MH1657). Several synthesis pathways will be followed to further improve the properties and gain the necessary added value for market competitiveness. The modification of the chemical structure will be done systematically with the purpose to fully understand the relation between the chemical structure, morphology and properties. In one research line (B, New bio-PEBAs Pathway 1) the polyether block will be kept constant, the same as for the reference bio-PEBA, and only the polyamide block will be modified using bio- based monomers with aromatic/cycloaliphatic structure. The main objective of the first research line is to induce spinnability by making polymers with better solubility keeping at least similar mechanical properties compared to the reference polymer. In a parallel research line (C, New bio-PEBAs Pathway 2), the polyamide part will be kept constant as for the reference bio-PEBA (i.e. poly(11-undecanoic acid)), and the chemical structure of the polyether block will be modified using monomers derived from lignin as a starting point to connect hydrophilic chains. The second research line will produce a polyamide-polyether block copolymer with bio-based components in both blocks and the processability into monolithic hollow fiber membranes will be evaluated.

Hereon acceded to the running project in April 2022 replacing a then leaving partner. Hereon’s main contribution is in the work package entitled ‘Polymer and membrane scale-up’. Hereon will modify the chemical structure of the reference polymer from Arkema with the main objective to develop bio-based polymers for CO2 separation, where only the polyamide block will be modified using bio-based monomers with aromatic/cycloaliphatic structure. A main task of Hereon is the functionalization of the different blocks with bio based chemicals.
The project is co-funded by the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) which is a Public-Private Partnership between the European Union and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) under Horizon 2020.
EU-Programme Acronym and Subprogramme AreaH2020-BBI-JTI-2019
Project TypeResearch & Innovation Action
Contract NumberGrant Agreement 887075
Co-ordinatorFundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation (ES)
Funding for the Project (€) Funding for Hereon (€)
Contact Person at Hereon Dr. Volkan Filz, Institute of Membrane Research, Department Microporous Polymers (PMS), Tel: +49 (0)4152 87-2425
E-mail contact
Worldwide Europe

ARKEMA FRANCE S.A. (FR), B4PLASTICS (BE), Maastricht University (NL), QUANTIS SARL (CH), Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (NL), Tecnalia Research and Innovation (ES)
BIOCOMEM website
Last Update: 14. June 2022