Industry News

New Project to Develop Sustainable Chemicals for Adhesives Using Weed Oil

Published on 2019-09-27. Edited By : SpecialChem

TAGS:  Natural-based Adhesives      Epoxy Adhesives    

Sustainable Adhesives from Vernonia galamensisMax Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (MPI CEC) launched a joint sustainability project with Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia to produce sustainable chemical products from Vernonia galamensis.

MPI Director Prof. Walter Leitner and his department at MPI CEC focuses on "green chemistry".

Their research is concerned with the manufacture of chemical products without using fossil resources.

Green Collaboration

Leitner, an honorary member of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia, initiated the collaboration together with Prof. Yonas Chebude, Head of the Faculty of Chemistry in Addis Ababa.

Prof. Chebude and his team are conducting intensive research in Ethiopia on the conversion of biomass into chemically usable products.

Vernonia galamensis – Raw material for Epoxidized Oil

They are currently focused on the plant Vernonia galamensis - normally thought of as a "weed".

The plant produces 40% epoxidized oil which is promising for industrial production.

The molecules contained therein are naturally reactive and can therefore be used much more easily as an industrial raw material than other vegetable oils.

Their research group is now trying to produce "green" chemical products - such as biodegradable plastics or adhesives - from the oil. This requires catalysts that will be developed jointly as part of this project.

Sustainable Products

There is currently no commercial cultivation of the plant, but there is already a high demand for the oil.

Prof. Yonas Chebude said that if sustainable products can be produced from the weeds, it would be a progress in the field of green chemistry but also a lucrative export product for Ethiopia.

The project is supported by a private donation from Mrs. E. Junesch and will initially run for one year.

Prof. Walter Leitner said that sustainable products made from Vernonia galamensis would greatly benefit Ethiopia as the research and production would take place locally.

Source: Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion
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