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What do packaging materials, paint and a coffee machine have in common? They all contain polymers, that are now made of fossil materials. But, those are being depleted and have a negative effect on the environment. Alternatives exist, made of biomass like sugar, but they often do not satisfy material demands. Furthermore, the source of biomass often competes with our food supply. Therefore, we use sugar beet waste as a raw material for high quality polymers, of which we can change the composition. This way, we can tune the properties of the material, like opacity and strength. These materials can be used as for example the plastic cover of coffee machines and, in the future, for parts in the car- and aviation industry.

PLASTIC FROM SUGAR BEET WASTE
KATRIEN BERNAERTSPROFILE
Maastricht University

What do packaging materials, paint and a coffee machine have in common? They all contain polymers, that are now made of fossil materials. But, those are being depleted and have a negative effect on the environment. Katrien Bernaerts is working on a solution: plastic from sugar beet waste.

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