New polymers and formulations from non-edible biomasses

Founded in 2013, AEP is an independent SME focused on industrial R&D in the field of bio-based polymers and formulations, with application in polyurethanes (rigid and flexible PU foams, compact PU, coatings and adhesives), epoxy resins and fibre-reinforced composites, thermoplastics and a wide variety of functionalized building blocks. The company’s expertise is mainly concentrated in organic chemistry and polymer science. Once designed and synthesized the new molecules, the AEP’s researchers benchmark them in industrial formulations against commercial products, to quantify their performance advantages. The synthetic processes are then optimized, upscaled and characterized at TRL=5 before transferring the recipes to pilot and industrial production.


Since 2015, AEP Polymers has worked on the usability assessment of different lignin grades in polymers, like polyurethane foams for automotive and construction applications (thermal and acoustic insulation). To increase lignin efficiency and improve performance properties of the foams, AEP has explored a process to overcome the limitations of lignin as a solid powder, obtaining an easier-to-use lignin form and a more homogeneous ligninpolyurethane matrix


The combination of FTIR imaging and X-ray micro-CT techniques has allowed to investigate both the polyols’ dispersion and the rigid PU foam structure, which have been correlated to the lignin processing method and to the macroscopic properties of the foam.