Replacement of traditional fossil-based plastics


In line with the European Green Deal objectives, the EU’s new growth strategy and the EU 2050 targets on climate neutrality, the research and innovation activities of FURIOUS will develop novel high-performance bio-based, sustainable and recyclable furan-based biopolymers to replace traditional fossil-based materials with high environmental impacts in 3 different industrial sectors: biomedical and electronic packaging, automotive and underwater.

Through an interdisciplinary approach, it is expected to make measurable contributions in both the medium and long term to achieve the targets set by the European Commission, the Circular Bio-Based Europe Joint Undertaking and the Bio-Based Industry Consortium.

Click on the icon on the left of each section to read the details of the FURIOUS contribution to each Pathway Towards Impact.

  • FURIOUS will develop and validate a portfolio of new high-performance furan-based biopolymers complying with the stringent requirements of three selected sectors of application: films for biomedical and electronic packaging, electrospun filter and injection moulded screen for the automotive sector, 3D printable and photopolymerizable sensor and elastomeric coating for the underwater sector. These expected results will be reached by a proper design of the building blocks, with no addition of fillers, coatings, or surface treatments. Furan-based biopolymers produced in FURIOUS will offer economically viable solutions appropriate for the applications mentioned before, as well as other sectors, such as the transport, furniture and home appliances sectors. The polymer chemistry, biopolymers producers and subsequent end-users in various sectors will benefit from the development of new and environmentally friendly solutions based on fully sustainable, renewable, bio-based, recyclable and toxic/pollutant-free materials.

  • The FURIOUS innovation will be based on the innovative synthesis of new polymers from 2,5 FDCA with distinct and versatile structures. At the same time, valorised products to be used for applications under stringent operating conditions integrating safety, circularity and functionality of materials and products will be generated. Furthermore, FURIOUS will contribute to this expected outcome by improving the end-of-life phase of the materials, by exploring new reprocessing routes. The possibility to reuse the materials in the same or more suitable value chains will be evaluated with the final objective of further reducing the environmental footprint of the furan-based biopolymers concerning currently available products. In this way, the developed materials will help the transition to more sustainable, circular value chains based on non-toxic bio-based materials easy to recycle.

  • FURIOUS will foster EU industrial leadership in more sustainable and resilient value chains, centred on the development of advanced bio-based products for challenging applications, in substitution of fossil-based materials. The project will test and demonstrate possibilities to establish new supply and value chains in the bio-based economy while strengthening also the recycling path for the developed furan-based biopolymers. The new polymeric products will help to lower the dependency of the EU on polymers import: in fact, they are synthesized from biomass that does not compete with the food industry and comes 100% from the EU.

  • Polymer chemistry, plastics converting and manufacturing, materials designers, manufacturers and end-users will benefit from FURIOUS results. A new value chain will be created with the involvement of biopolymer suppliers, plastic converters, end users, waste management companies, and technological support. Therefore, the project improves the cascading use of bio-based resources, representing a step forward in the promotion of a truly circular economy. To achieve this outcome, product designers, material engineers, chemists, toxicologists, sustainability experts, and experts in digital and enabling technologies are working together to achieve the FURIOUS objectives.

  • FURIOUS aims at demonstrating at least 6 classes of functional 100% furan-based biopolymers at TRL 5 for the three selected applications (biomedical and electronic packaging, automotive and underwater). This project will implement innovative processing routes to develop novel circular-by design high performance furan-based biopolymers without using harmful solvents and to reproduce this process successfully at industrial scale. The choice of the three sectors of application has been strategic, since they are among the biggest end-users markets of plastics in Europe. In addition, the type of plastics addressed in the project that will be substituted by these bio-based materials are used for a huge variety of applications and large shares the European plastic manufacturing sector. Therefore, the potential for market uptake of the project bio-based materials is huge both in medium and long term.

  • The replacement of non-renewable polymers with renewable compositions is a significant step towards sustainability that will be addressed in FURIOUS. LCA and LCC will be used to evaluate the environmental and economic impact over the life cycle of the product. The sustainable sourcing of the input material will contribute to lower the greenhouse gases emitted during the production of furan-based biopolymers. Moreover, one of the project objectives focuses on the possibility of exploring new chemical recycling and reprocessing of the FURIOUS materials in order to assess the possibility to reuse them.