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Symposium MF03-Sustainable Polymers—From Fundamentals to Advanced Manufacturing and Applications

With polymeric material consumption constantly increasing and plastic waste accumulating and contaminating our land, water, and air, we are now facing a global challenge that has never been more pressing. The emerging concept of a circular bioeconomy, unravels opportunities to create a sustainable society that uses widely available bioresources while simultaneously lowering the net carbon footprint. Some of the most promising avenues currently studied in the field of sustainable polymers are to substitute fossil-derived monomers with equivalents derived from abundant and renewable biomass, utilize natural biopolymers, biosynthesized hierarchical structures or entire organisms, redesign manufacturing processes to be less wasteful and consume less energy, integrate synthetic biology tools, and develop viable end-of-life strategies. Yet, for biomass-based materials there are important remaining fundamental challenges including the fractionation, improving extraction or conversion yields, handling, and low-waste and low-energy processing, adaptation to advanced manufacturing methods. In addition, understanding of constituent materials and structures, and embracing innovations using bottom-up platforms such as cell cultures or protein design to tailor the structure and properties of biopolymer-based materials present an alternative and less explored pathway.This symposium will be centered around these topics, which require materials scientists, chemical and process engineers, synthetic biologists, environmental and bioresource scientists and chemists to collaboratively provide solutions to address this multifaceted global challenge.

Topics will include:

  • Nanocellulose, lignin, chitin and other biological polymers: Extraction and characterization of materials and their hierarchical structures
  • Fundamental Science of Biopolymers: Mechanical, thermal, barrier, and optical properties. Nanostructuring and multi-scale modeling
  • Lignocellulose based functional structures and Nanomanufacturing: Multifunctional composites, functionalization, lightweight and strong composites
  • Transparent substrates, magnetic nanostructures, 3D aerogel, hydrogel, nanomanufacturing, 3D printing
  • Wood Nanotechnology: Wood nanostructure understanding, nanostructural control, and multi-functional materials design
  • Development of novel biodegradable or recyclable polymers, polymers obtained from low energy or wasteless processing methods, waste-derived polymers.
  • Biobased, bioderived or self-grown polymers and their composites
  • Engineered living materials, cell-based and biopolymer-based materials. Including mycelium, yeast, plant and algal cell based materials, and protein-based materials.
  • Studies of biodegradation and recycling or regeneration of sustainable polymers
  • Emerging advanced applications based on biopolymers and biodegradable polymers such as electronics, biodevices, energy management
  • Advanced manufacturing including 3D printing with sustainable polymers, and expanding functionality through composite design
  • Life-cycle-assessment of sustainable materials

Invited Speakers (tentative):

  • Tiffany Abitbol (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Marie-Eve Aubin-Tam (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)
  • Diego Barriero (University College London, United Kingdom)
  • Andrew Dove (University of Birmingham, United Kingdom)
  • Johan Foster (The University of British Columbia, Canada)
  • Olli Ikkala (Aalto University, Finland)
  • Martin Kaltenbrunner (Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Austria)
  • Eero Kontturi (Aalto University, Finland)
  • Tian Li (Purdue University, USA)
  • Bradley Olsen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Thomas Parton (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
  • Megan Robertson (University of Houston, USA)
  • Lynn Rothschild (NASA Ames Research Center, USA)
  • Tsuguyuki Saito (The University of Tokyo, Japan)
  • Mika Sipponen (Stockholm University, Sweden)
  • Gilberto Siqueira (Empa–Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Switzerland)
  • Daniel Söderberg (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)
  • Wim Thielemans (KU Leuven, Belgium)
  • Jeffrey Youngblood (Purdue University, USA)
  • Fuzhong Zhang (Washington University in St. Louis, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Eleftheria Roumeli

University of Washington

Materials Science and Engineering

Yuanyuan Li
KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Kunal Masania
Technische Universiteit Delft
Aerospace Engineering
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , k.masania@tudelft.nl

Gustav Nyström
Empa–Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , gustav.nystroem@empa.ch

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature