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Sustainable foaming using supercritical carbon dioxide and biopolymers

PhD ceremony:G. (Guilherme) de Macedo Rooweder Lima, MSc
When:June 21, 2024
Supervisors:R.K. (Ranjita) Bose, Prof, F. (Francesco) Picchioni, Prof
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Science and Engineering
Sustainable foaming using supercritical carbon dioxide and

Foam is used in various everyday applications such as packaging materials, automotive interiors, bedding, and thermal insulation for structures. However, traditional methods employed in foam production often rely on chemical agents and materials that come with environmental hazards. Efforts to minimize environmental harm in foam production and material include exploring alternatives like biodegradable polymers and innovative processing techniques, such as using supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) as a foaming agent. The scCO2 approach eliminates the need for harmful chemical agents and offers greater control over the foam's properties. 

In his PhD research, Guilherme de Macedo Rooweder Lima examined the reprocessability of biodegradable polymers and the degradation behavior of blends. He studied methods to blend non-renewable polyesters with polyhydroxyalkanoates to develop foam materials tailored to specific features. 

By integrating biodegradable polymers with scCO2 technology, De Macedo Rooweder Lima's research showcases the viability of embracing eco-friendly approaches in industrial processes. It marks a notable advancement in supporting adopting environmentally responsible manufacturing practices and providing solutions to address concerns regarding polymer disposal and utilization in the foam production sector.