Sugar in a bowl
Podcast – Chemistry with a purpose

Biobased innovation: circular polymers from sugar

Christian Lenges is an innovation expert at International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), one of Kemira’s collaboration partners in the quest to develop fully bio-based polymers that outperform traditional fossil-based derived products. In our podcast, Chemistry with a purpose, we caught up with Christian to learn more about the challenges and opportunities of making polymers from sugar instead of fossil-based raw materials.

Today, polymers are used in almost every area of modern life. They are in our clothes, electronics, packaging, and countless other everyday items. However, they are typically fossil based. As our society shifts toward more circular products and materials, companies like IFF and Kemira are working on developing more sustainable alternatives and in this instance, are collaborating to make plant-based polymers from sugar.

In our discussion with Christian, he talks about what’s driving this innovation as well as the practicalities of product development, commercialization, new regulations, and consumer acceptance.

“What we have seen time and time again is that although consumers are motivated by a transition to more sustainable alternatives, they are not able and willing to give up the performance of these products,” he says. Thus, biopolymers will have to perform even better than their fossil-based predecessors.

To learn more about this area of bio-based innovation, listen to the full episode here on our website or find our podcast on Apple, Spotify or Google Play.

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