The demand for renewable biopolymers is growing steadily as the drive for a green economy and a sustainable future accelerates. Biobased polymers are considered to be one of the future alternatives to synthetic polymers. These renewable biopolymers can either be derived from biobased building blocks or natural polymers, such as starch.
The objective of this project is to develop novel technology to modify starch in such a way to make it applicable as adhesive. The ultimate aim is to replace non-biodegradable synthetic polymers, such as polyvinyl alcohol, that are currently used in glue applications.
Starch is one of the most abundant natural polymers in the world. Native and modified starches are used in a wide variety of food and non-food applications. Starch is traditionally modified by means of one single technique in order to obtain the desired characteristics. Until now, bifunctional modifications of starch havent been explored intensively due to technical limitations of the current state of the art technology. In order to create enhanced or (multi-) functionalities new approaches for starch modification need to be explored. In this project we will develop and apply novel modification technology to create currently non-existing starch structures that display improved performance features, e.g. increased solubility after dispersion, enhanced adhesive forces, improved stability in viscosity, and biodegradability.
If this project is successful, the EU starch industry a large and still growing agricultural sector in the European Union will be able to apply a large agricultural stream for a non-food application with substantial (industrial and consumer) market volume. Consumers will have access to more environmentally friendly biobased products and the scientific community will benefit as more knowledge has been built up on developing technology for novel applications for a natural polymer.