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Successful development of new biobased amines in the CHAMPION Project

The project partners involved in Work Package 2 of the CHAMPION project, i.e. Wageningen Research, Circa, and AVA Biochem, have recently completed the successful development of a range of new biobased amines. These biorenewable, carbohydrate-based compounds are being tested as building blocks and reactants in CHAMPION as part of the so-called aza-Michael ‘click’ reactions, to make both water-soluble polymers and cross-linked resins.

While amines are already widely used building blocks in the production of various high-performance materials like polyamides (nylons), polyurethanes and epoxy resins, the majority of amines on the market are derived from fossil feedstocks. One of the targets of CHAMPION was to develop new amines, based on bio-renewable feedstocks such as residues from agro-food processing or forestry. All newly developed amines are derived from non-food-grade carbohydrates (sugars).

Under Work Package 4, project partner BDS has rigorously tested all new substances for potential human toxicity using high-throughput, effect-based cell assays. Only those new candidates that showed favourable toxicity profiles were then further developed, i.e. scaled up sufficiently to allow for testing as building blocks in new aza-Michael materials.

While dozens of new amines were developed by the project partners, rigorous testing in other work packages showed that not all of the new substances were suitable for the specific applications targeted in CHAMPION. Amines that met performance criteria were scaled up under Work Package 5 to allow for more extensive application testing, as well as (bio)degradability testing to investigate different end-of-life scenarios. Furthermore, for the most interesting new amines, new, more sustainable and ‘green’ synthetic procedures have been investigated that can support a successful future industrial implementation. So, in addition to biobased amines suitable for the specific CHAMPION applications, Work Package 2 has also produced a range of new biobased amines that can be useful building blocks and intermediates in a range of functional chemicals and materials, including chelators, surfactants, detergent builders, epoxy resins, polyurethanes, agrochemicals or pharmaceuticals. Exploration of such alternative applications and markets will be pursued in the near future as project spin-offs by the various project partners.


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