Bio-CO2-Polymer - development of a multi-enzymatic mediated CO2 conversion to DHA-based polymers

In the "Bio-CO2 polymers" project, novel plastics based on dihydroxyacetone (DHA) are to be developed from the base molecule CO2. The basis is a biocatalytic process cascade. DHA is a simple carbohydrate that is widely used in self-tanning products, for example.

In addition to their technical development, the new plastics are also to be evaluated ecologically and economically in order to identify potential and optimization opportunities. This will take the form of a techno-economic evaluation by the nova Institute and an ecological evaluation of the developed technology concept by the IfBB.

The "Bio-CO2 polymers" project is part of the joint project "Competence Center for Biological Transformation of Materials Science and Production Technology" (Bio4MatPro)", which is concerned with structural change in the Rhenish mining area and will be supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) over the next five years with funds from the "Research and Innovation" structural strengthening law.

The focus of the joint project is, among other things, sustainable and resource-saving production of chemical and plastic products based on natural resources. There are close links with the industry available in this region, firstly as suppliers of raw materials for CO2 from waste gases from various branches of industry, and secondly for the further development of the value chain for the new polymers to be developed.

In particular, Covestro, which is located on the edge of the Rhenish mining area, is already considered a pioneer in the development and use of CO2-based polymers, especially polyurethanes. Depending on the property profile of the new polymers, in addition to their development, fields of application could also be opened up, for example as functional polymers such as adhesives, auxiliary materials or coatings for materials, paper, composite materials or even pharmaceuticals or agricultural chemicals and seeds; for all these areas, there are already manufacturing companies in the Rhenish mining area with which a value chain can be established.

In the "Bio-CO2 Polymers" project, CO2 can be biocatalytically converted to dihydroxyacetone-based polymers by establishing an enzyme cascade in order to contribute to the resource turnaround and local circular bioeconomy together with the existing industry in the Rhenish mining area.

More about Bio4MatPro here.

Project summary

  • Project title: Bio-CO2-Polymer - development of a multi-enzymatic mediated CO2 conversion to DHA-based polymers
  • Funding: Project management Jülich (PTJ)
  • Sponsorship: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
  • Project partners: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e. V., RWTH Aachen, nova-Institut für politische und ökologische Innovation GmbH
  • Project management: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andrea Siebert-Raths
  • Duration: 01.09.2022 - 31.08.2025


Nico Becker, M. Eng.,