The Ulysses research project, coordinated by Italian chemicals and advanced textiles manufacturer, the Radici Group in Bergamo, Italy, has demonstrated the feasibility of producing polyamides on an industrial scale using bio adipic acid derived from renewable raw materials such as waste oil and by-products of the oil industry.
The €6.2 million project, which included €1.7 million from the Region of Piedmont, began in March 2018 and has resulted in the establishment of a fully functional demonstration plant.
Stefano Alini, CEO of Radici InNova, said that waste oil is first used as a raw material for the synthesis of adipic acid, which is then used as a base material for the creation of polyamide polymers, which are the fundamental ingredients in component manufacturing. Finally, at the end of their useful lives, the components are totally or partially recycled.
Alini added that in this way, the circular economy cycle is completed, responding to demand from an ever-increasing number of customers, particularly those in the fashion and textile industries, who are extremely concerned about product environmental impact. These clients are asking for the creation of novel materials that can also meet national and EU sustainability targets, such as Agenda 2030 and the Green Deal. The bioeconomy concept fits perfectly with the RadiciGroup sustainability policy, which emphasizes the cautious use of raw materials and resources.
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