Bioeconomy Science Center
Research and cooperation for a sustainable bioeconomy

Bioeconomy Science Center
Research and cooperation for a sustainable bioeconomy
SEED FUND 2.0 project R2HPBIO

Renewables to high-performance bioplastics by sustainable production ways

This project comprises the full life-cycle of novel bioplastics, starting from biotechnologically produced platform chemicals, purification by novel electrochemical separation technology and polymerisation via tailored robust metal catalysts. Subsequently, these polymers will be refined by modern macromolecular methods and their biodegradability will be tested. The FocusLab HyImPAct provides biotechnologically produced chemicals such as succinic acid, 1,4-butanediol, ketoglutarate and protocatechuic acid. Finally, biofunctionalised bioplastics (bio2plastics) will be obtained which can be useful for drug delivery tests in the FocusLab GreenRelease.

What is the relevance and the impact for the Bioeconomy?

The bioeconomy has to challenge the classical productions based on fossil raw materials. To allow a  successful market integration of processes based on renewable raw materials, products with beneficial properties application wise or in economical or ecological aspects have to be developed. In the FocusLab HyImPAct, the processing of renewable resources towards precursors is investigated, emphasizing the importance of producing a large product diversity in terms of purity and molecules. HyImPAct thereby focusses on further processing towards active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) but stretches the importance of a production network starting from renewable platform chemicals (precursors). In this project, we propose to extend the network based on the precursors of HyImPAct to produce high performance biofunctionalized bioplastics. The project connects biotechnological and chemical transformations by integrating separation technology, exploiting the advantages of the energy revolution. Showing alternative ways by taking advantage of today’s energy will establish a sustainable bioeconomy. Furthermore, an important aspect in the raw material cycle is closed by proving products biodegradability and demonstrating the impact of a sustainable bioeconomy in a more functionalized world of products with highly reduced ecological footprint in its lifecycle. The unique aspect of this project is the holistic combination of biotechnological produced precursors from renewables, their purification to achieve demanded purity of the precursors, their polycondensation/polymerisation to bioplastics and their subsequent transformation to biofunctional materials, achieving biofunctional bioplastics, or what we call bio2plastics. Characterization of the materials will specifically look at the biodegradability of these products and their potential for different biotechnological and biomedical applications. Herein, the developed bio2plastics shall also serve as containers (microgels or capsules) for drugs and other active ingredients in close connection to the FocusLab GreenRelease for plant health.


SEED FUND 2.0 Coordinator

Prof. Sonja Herres-Pawlis
Chair of Bioinorganic Chemistry (IC)
RWTH Aachen University
phone: +49 241 8093902



Prof. Laura Hartmann, Chair of Macromolecular Chemistry (MC), Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Jupke, Chair of Fluid Process Engineering (FVT), RWTH Aachen University


Funding period

01.10.2018 - 30.09.2020



The total budget of R2HPBIO is 107,911 €. R2HPBIO is is part of the NRW-Strategieprojekt BioSC and thus funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.