Welcome to the Biopolymer Application Centre. Welcome to the BAC. Here we are at the forefront of the transition from fossil-based to biobased polymers. The BAC serves not only as a knowledge center, but also as a testing development center. Every day, students, companies, startups and educational experts invent and realize new biopolymer applications. Multidisciplinary work and knowledge creation, utilization and sharing are central to this.
Werner Muller is project manager at the BAC: “At the BAC we create win-win-win situations every day. We solve problems for our clients, our students learn a great deal from this in terms of content and process, and through all of this we make our society a little more sustainable bit by bit. I couldn’t wish for more.”
In addition to Werner, Wilner Acosta also works at the BAC as a workshop manager. According to Wilner, no day is the same at the BAC. “The great thing about my job is that I get to experience projects from start to finish, as the BAC slogan goes; from no idea to proof of concept. Sparring with companies, supervising students, injecting a product myself, it can all happen in one day. Students learn a lot by working on projects with “real” clients. “On the other hand, I learn a lot from the students, a nice interaction.” says Wilner.
ROOM FOR INNOVATION
Students who have a good idea are also given the opportunity to do something with it. Within a project but it can also be a stand-alone idea. For example, student Laura Prinzen noticed that so many students eat tangerines and came up with the idea of doing something with the peels. Wilner: “I like it when students come up with their own ideas. We dried the peels, ground them and mixed them with a biopolymer to make granules. What came out was an interesting material that even smelled a bit like tangerines”. The idea didn’t get any further than some test material but with more research it could certainly be taken further to perhaps a product.
RECYCLED FISHING NETS
Currently, the BAC is working on a project around the recycling of fishing nets. The company Reflow buys granulate from recycled fishing nets (made of polymer polypropylene, PP) which they convert into filament for 3d printing. They would like to find out if the material can improve in quality by adding natural fibers. This way the material is not only recycled but upcycled. At the BAC they compare the different materials; the conventional PP material, the recycled PP from fishing nets and the PP supplemented with plant fibers. They look at the mechanical strength, thermal properties, degradation and most importantly, which material is most suitable for 3D printing? The expectation is that the biobased variant is of better quality, but that will have to become clear in the coming period. Kevin is a 4th year chemistry student and is currently working on this project: “Up to now I have mainly been involved in literature study to find out what a composite as strong as possible could be. We coordinate the results with the client. At the end of my internship, I would like to have designed as strong a composite as possible, suitable for 3D printing.”
Download the BAC products and services portfolio for more info.
Want to know more about the projects of the company BAC, do you have your own ideas for new projects? Then get in touch with Werner Muller.