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Safe and Circular Paint and Coating Systems

08 Nov 2023
Sustainable Materials and Chemicals

To create a circular economy, society should develop paint and coating systems that are fully sustainable and circular. This necessitates not just developing binder systems that are based upon renewable feedstocks, but ultimately redesigning all components of the formulation. Moreover, substances that are being classified as substances of very high concern, should be phased out. On top of that, improved end-of-life options of paint and coatings systems should be developed; systems should be safe and circular by design.

This imposes huge challenges to the paints and coatings industry since properties like durability and resistance seem contradictory to recyclability and eco- or biodegradability. 

The presentation will highlight a number of different developments directed to making current binder systems more biobased, making pigment production more environmentally acceptable and ultimately biobased, developing recycling and looping strategies for paints, coatings and related systems.

Developments on biobased aromatics, such as substituted phthalic acid anhydrides will be highlighted; these aromatics could be important building blocks in coating systems like do-it-yourself paints and powder coatings systems. Results of the BBI (BioBased Industries Initiative) funded project CHAMPION (Circular High-performance Aza-Michael Polymers as Innovative materials Originating from Nature) will be discussed. This project focuses on developing biobased binder systems via so called Aza-Michael chemistry; this type of chemistry will allow to substitute epoxy or polyurethane based systems and results into binder systems that are potentially biodegradable.

Benefits of the new technologies will be that they will save CO2 emissions upon production of the paint and coating ingredients. On top of that, it will reduce the use of components that are hazardous to human health and the environment.

Jacco van Haveren, Programme Manager - Wageningen Food & Biobased Research