Objectives & benefits
1. To organise and master the European activity in the area of FDCA-based chemicals, products and materials to target scientific, technical and industrial solutions towards sustainable furan-products market introduction and improving simultaneously human capital qualification.
2. To promote cross-sectoral cooperation of polymer scientists and general materials developers with industrial stakeholders to develop products with an applied vision.
3. To develop novel technologies for the synthesis of FDCA and related monomers, starting from widely occurring non-edible alternative sources of starting sugars, mainly agro-forest byproducts, such as those rich in cellulose fibres, which are a non-exhaustive source of D-glucose; or pectin rich sources from agroforest byproducts.
4. To synthesise novel furan-based polycondensates using FDCA or derivatives and other renewable-based monomers.
5. To identify the main economic obstacles, market demands, supply chain challenges, environmental hotspots and also the legislative restrictions that need to be considered so as to ensure a successful introduction of FDCA and its materials in real applications.
6. To identify the most promising application fields for newly synthesised FDCA chemicals and materials based on achieved and required product properties; on technological requisites to scale-up processes and manufacture; as well as their environmental, health and safety issues from a life cycle perspective.
The main objective of this COST Action is to catalyse a synergistic approach for the whole value-chain of 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid and derivatives, aiming concomitantly to boost innovation in the current research & development (R&D) status quo and, moreover, to overcome the scientific, technological and the industrial limitations that hinder the wide deployment of new FDCA products developed in actual market applications.
In a global expansion context of polymers production, but in contrast to a more stagnated European panorama, current opportunities come from the so-called ‘bioplastic industry’. Additionally, FDCA is considered as a promising platform chemical and key polymer building block from renewable origin, and many efforts on FDCA production and the ensuing polymers synthesis and characterisation have, indeed, shown its huge potential for being the future ‘bioplastics’.
Hence, exploring the scientific and technical solutions, addressing the opportunities for, and obstacles to market introduction, as well as the environmental issues of the key renewable-based building block FDCA and its polymeric materials production and manufacturing is an opportunity to establish an European leadership, contributing to the reindustrialisation within the UN sustainability goals. A more in-depth analysis of current R&D on FDCA-products clearly shows that efforts are scattered in several individual initiatives and separate from key industrial stakeholders.