Bio-derived and Bio-inspired Advanced Materials for Sustainable Industries (VALUED)

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Chemical Engineering


The UK Government recently set targets for "net zero emissions" and "zero waste" as well as a 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. Even so, the UK currently sources, processes and deploys advanced materials based on unsustainable practices, including the use of fossil fuels and scarce, geologically hindered raw materials. This contributes to over 30% of the UK CO2 emissions, especially considering the import of raw precursors and materials.

Our vision is to build our most important functional materials from bio-based resources which are locally available. These materials will lower CO2 emissions, helping the UK to reach the targeted zero emissions by 2050 while boosting high-performance, locally available technologies and creating new industries. They will form the cornerstone for a modern technology-dependent economy.

This programme grant brings together the best UK academics and key industrial partners involved in the development of a new supply chain for sustainable materials and applications. We will accelerate novel pathways to manufacture advanced materials out of available UK bioresources while boosting their performance working with stakeholders in key industrial sectors (chemical industry, advanced materials, energy, waste, agriculture, forestry, etc).

The combined food, forestry and agricultural waste in the UK amounts to approx.26.5m tonnes each year. There is no valuable economic chain in the UK to allow waste valorisation towards high value-added materials. Yet, by mass, functional materials provide the most viable route for waste utilisation, preferable over waste-to-energy. This Programme Grant will thus enhance the UK's capability in the critical area of affordable and sustainable advanced materials for a zero carbon UK economy, providing multidisciplinary training for the next generation of researchers, and support for a nascent next generation of an advanced materials industry


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