Start: June 2021
End: May 2024
The main objective of this project is to develop the use of sustainable elastomers in light-weight construction applications. This will offer major benefits in terms of weight savings, resource efficiency and a lower environmental impact than existing components with the same function. A combination of novel polymers and fillers, optimized production techniques, weight reduction through resource-efficient design and a comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study will ensure that the new elastomer components are both highly functional and environmentally efficient.
Our main contribution to this project is conducting a Life Cycle Assessment of the new polymers. This LCA study will help minimize the carbon footprint of the new polymers (and potentially other environmental impacts too) by informing the selection of raw materials at an early stage in the design process. The study will also determine the difference in carbon footprint between the new polymers and the conventional products they replace.
To ensure a reliable study is conducted, the main challenges we must overcome relate to data availability. Carbon Minds is conducting ecological screening and detailed modeling of relevant commodities at a regional level. We are also modeling new data to fill data gaps. With this level of data availability, we are able to cluster raw materials according to carbon footprint (and other environmental impacts), which is decision-critical information for the selection of low impact raw materials. Beyond this, the data we gather is combined with data collected from the project partners. This larger dataset is being used to create a digital twin model of the entire value chain. This digital twin forms the basis of our life cycle assessment, which culminates in a comparative LCA study of the novel and conventional polymers.