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DPI Newsletter

Newsletter issue: March, 2012

Dear member of the DPI Community,

We are pleased to present the first edition of our DPI newsletter. Here at the Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI) we have received many requests to share our latest news on a regular basis. To satisfy the desire for more information, we would like to introduce our new DPI newsletter.
The first edition will be distributed quite widely. We hope you will take the time to read it and, as always, your feedback is appreciated. In order to receive future editions of the DPI newsletter, you do not have to do anything. If you would like to be taken off the mailing list, please follow the instructions at the end of this newsletter.
DPI related news
Polymer Synthesis Workshop 
At the end of January the Cross TA Workshop "Polymer synthesis: the necessary tool for a bright future in polymers" took place. More than 70 researchers attended the workshop where the following two questions took the limelight: What are the opportunities within the field of polymer synthesis for future DPI calls for proposals and why? Do we need to strengthen certain existing themes with DPI, why, how and with whom? The workshop brought about many new insights, several of which will be incorporated into DPI's strategy during the coming years.
The presentations can be found on the DPI intranet.
New Participants
We have had the honour of welcoming the following knowledge institutes as new DPI partners: University of Antwerp (Belgium), Universita di Torino/Dipartimento di Chimica, Universita degli Studi di Udine/ Dipartimento di Chimica Fisica ed Ambiente (Italy) DWI an der RWTH Aachen (Germany) and SyMO-Chem (the Netherlands). The first three are participating in the Polyolefins technology area and the other two partners will be conducting research in the area of Performance Polymers.
As of 1 January 2012, Rolic (Switzerland) has taken a basic participation in the Functional Polymer Systems technology area.
Citation Impact Score: 2.04
The Dutch Polymer Institute scored a citation impact factor of 2.04 for its scientific publications. The results appear in the latest report from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Science and Technology Indicators 2011. Once again, DPI's score is more than twice as high as the global average. In collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Dutch Observatory of Science and Technology (NOWT) examines the quality of Dutch research every two years. The latest results comprise an analysis of data from "Web of Science" in the areas of publication output and citation impact of Dutch research institutes including universities, independent research institutions and some major hospitals.
European COMPNANOCOMP project
The goal of the CompNanoComp project is to develop a multiscale simulation methodology and software for predicting the morphology (spatial distribution and state of aggregation of nanoparticles), thermal (glass temperature), mechanical (viscoelastic storage and loss moduli, plasticity, fracture toughness and compression strength), electrical and optical properties of soft and hard polymer matrix nanocomposites from the atomic level characteristics of their constituent nanoparticles and macromolecules and from the processing conditions used in their preparation.

This ground-breaking modelling methodology should significantly improve the reliable design and processability of nanocomposites, which will contribute to the EU Grand Challenges for the reduction of CO2 emissions, energy savings by lightweight high-strength nanocomposites, mobility and improved living environment. The successful outcome of the project will constitute an important advance in the state-of-the-art of nanocomposites and will have an immediate industrial, economic and environmental impact.

The CompNanoComp initiative consists of two collaborative projects being implemented by an EU consortium (8 partners) and a Russian consortium (4 partners) under the FP7 framework and the Federal Russian government. DPI acts as the coordinator of the project and John van Haare is the Project Leader of the CompNanoComp project.
European Research Study - Biopolymers
At the end of 2011, DPI submitted a proposal to complete a European research study of biopolymers. Participants in the study include 14 industrial partners and 6 knowledge institutions. The total research grant is 6 million euros. We are expecting feedback on the proposal from Brussels during the course of this year.
Green plastic powered by DPI, FOM, Michelin and SKF
DPI has partnered with the FOM Foundation, Michelin and SKF to gain a better fundamental understanding of how polymers are reinforced by adding fillers. The partners signed a contract for the new FOM Industrial Partnership Programme  that has a budget of 1.6 million euros. Nearly all ‘plastic' objects around us consist of polymers that have been reinforced with fillers to improve their physical properties. The researchers have set their sights high: they want to be the first to make a quantitative connection between the macroscale properties and performances of these reinforced materials and their structure at a molecular level. The partners will jointly deploy a wide range of advanced techniques to study the network structures on the mesoscale.
Googling on a green screen
What would we do if rare earth metals were depleted? For Indium Tin Oxide, a rare earth metal that is commonly used for touch screens on iPads and iPhones, a see-through, conductive film has been developed as a replacement. It is a water-based substitute, in which carbon nanotubes and nanoparticles of plastic have been dissolved. This material is suitable for use in LCD screens but also in telephones, laptops and solar cells. A large advantage of this alternative is that it is relatively less expensive than other potential options. Additionally, the raw materials are readily available.
DPI was responsible for the fundamental research study: DPI Value Centre bridged the "Valley of Death".

The discoveries were made by the research group led by Professor Cor Koning and Professor Paul van der Schoot of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), with former PhD students Nadia Grossiord and Marie-Claire Hermant, and in collaboration with Joachim Loos, Oren Regev, Jan Meuldijk and Bert Klumperman.
PhD theses of DPI researchers (Jan. - March)
Functional Polymer Systems
"Study of photophysical processes in organic light-emitting diodes based on light-emission profile reconstruction" M. Carvelli
"Fullerene Bisadducts for Organic Photovoltaics" R.K.M. Bouwer 
"Transition Metal Complexes and Ligand Design for Organic Optoelectronics" I. Stengel
"Dynamics of singlet and triplet excitions in organic semiconductors" O.V. Mikhnenko
Coatings Technologies
"Physical Gels based on Charge-driven Co-assembly" M. Lemmers (Ir.)
"Self-stratifying Antimicrobial Coatings" M.B. Yagci
High Throughput Electronics
"Linear Low-density Polyethylene Synthesis by a High-throughput Approach" E. Koç
Corporate Technology
"Development of Two-dimensional Chromatographic Methods for the Separation and Characterization of Polyesters of Different Degrees of Branching" Dipl. -Ing. Michael Al Samman
New researchers
The following researchers have recently started a DPI project:
Ele de Boer
Performance Polymers
Nick Jaenson
Jimmy Li
Functional Polymer Systems
Wenshan Zhang
Large-Area Thin-Film Electronics
Davide Bartesaghi
Francois Boyer
Call for Proposals: Polymer Value Chain Projects 2012
Polymer Value Chain Projects are an initiative launched by DPI and DPI Value Centre as part of the Polymer Innovation Programme (PIP) to promote innovation in the value chain. Companies are invited to set up innovation projects in which different parties in the value chain collaborate. The collaboration will involve transfer of valuable knowledge for the benefit of the results of the project. DPI Value Centre will actively assist the participating companies in realising collaboration. To broaden the scope of a project and to facilitate its implementation, contributions are available from the PIP scheme for companies taking part in these chain projects.
The projects must be compatible with the objectives of DPI and DPI Value Centre. Accordingly, proposals must clearly show that the projects will generate innovation that contributes to economic growth and to sustainability and/or quality of life. International partners are allowed to participate, but the development activities and most of the anticipated economic benefits (more than 50%) must be realised in the Netherlands.
Click here for more information.
20-23 May: S-polymat 2012
25-29 June: Cosi2012
16-19 September: Polycondensation2012
More external meetings can be found on our website: www.polymers.nl
For the internal meetings please see the DPI intranet.
General polymer news
Evonik plans further capacity expansion for polyamide 12 in Germany and Asia
Evonik Industries plans to expand capacities for the specialty polymer polyamide 12. Firstly, the group is significantly expanding its existing plant in Marl and, secondly, the Executive Board has approved preliminary and basic planning for a large new polyamide 12 production facility in Asia. The 5,000 metric ton capacity expansion in Marl is expected to start operating in 2012. The Asian facility, which will provide a very significant expansion of 20,000 metric tons, is scheduled for completion within three years; the project now awaits the approval of the company’s different bodies.
World demand for bioplastics to triple by 2015
Global demand for biodegradable and bio-based plastics is expected to triple to more than 1 million metric tons by 2015, which is valued at £1.9 billion, according to a new market study. The increase in demand will be fuelled by rising petroleum prices, consumer preferences for sustainable materials, improved performance of bioplastics and the introduction of commodity plastics produced from bio-based sources.
According to “World Bioplastics”, a study from Cleveland-based Freedonia Group Inc., bioplastic resins will achieve price parity with conventional plastics by the end of the decade.The main driver for growth in bioplastics will be an increase of non-biodegradable resins including bio-based polyethylene and polypropylene. (Full article)
Recycling all plastic packaging is achievable by 2020, says EPRO
An increase in plastic packaging recycling could result in 100% of such material being diverted from landfill by 2020.This goal was first announced by the pan-European PlasticsEurope trade organisation and has now been backed by the 2010 region-wide figures released by the European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations (EPRO).
The 27 members of the EU plus Switzerland and Norway recycled 5.02 metric tons, or 32.6%, of all its plastic packaging in 2010. In 2009, 4.6 metric tons (30.3%) was recycled. Energy recovery from waste plastic packaging was 33.3%, giving a total recycling and recovery rate of 65.9% (up from 60.7% in 2009). With one-third of plastic packaging still going to landfill, “we still have a job to do,” said EPRO.
EPRO said in a statement that “a recovery rate of 100% in 2020 for both plastic packaging and all other plastic waste is still possible; it is all about willingness and working together across the plastics supply chain to set the scene and move the agenda forward. A strategy of 100% recovery of plastic waste might also contribute to an economic recovery of Europe and thus more jobs.”
Plastics to play key role in growing Indian automotive sector
Indian OEMs currently use about 155 pounds of plastic per car, and that amount is expected to climb significantly, and possibly double, by 2016.“With the rising raw material cost and increasing pressure on OEMs to keep the car prices in check to remain competitive, the carmakers will use more plastic components in the years to come,” said Jayesh Rambhia, president of the All India Plastics Manufacturers’ck-jr Association, during Automotive Plastics India 2011.
According to Rambhia, plastic content will rise from current levels to 240-300 pounds in the next five years. Volkswagen Group has already achieved the 300-pound level in its car range, he said. “The share of premium cars is still very low compared to Maruti Suzuki."
Bridgestone's airless tyres are designed to never go flat
At the Tokyo Auto Show in Japan, Bridgestone showed off its latest development - puncture-less air-free tyres. The tyres are still in the concept phase, but have been successfully tested on single-person vehicles in Japan, which are traditionally used for elderly people.
The 9-inch wheels have thermoplastic resin spokes that radiate from the rim to the tread, curving to the left and right for maximum structural support. The tyres' solid design does not require air and, consequently, cannot be punctured – so, no more flat tyres. The material used to make the tyres that is entirely recyclable is also an interesting factor. (Full article)
Glass that cleans itself
Eyeglasses need never be cleaned again and dirty windscreens are a thing of the past! Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz and the TU Darmstadt are now much closer to achieving this goal. They have used candle soot to produce a transparent superamphiphobic coating made of glass. Both oil and water roll off this coating, leaving absolutely nothing behind, a result that even held true when the researchers damaged the layer by sandblasting. The material owes this property to its nanostructure. Surfaces sealed in this way could find a use anywhere where contamination or even a film of water is either harmful or just simply a nuisance. 
DPI Value Centre: Innovation in polymers
In 2007 DPI  started the DPI Value Centre. The DPI Value Centre is an independent foundation supporting companies with their innovations in the field of polymers. With the support of our network of partners in the manufacturing industry and the research community (multinationals, SMEs and knowledge institutes), we can work in finding solutions to topics. Our experts can provide advice on polymers, but also on a wide range of other disciplines, from product and process development to marketing, patents, finance and grants. Thanks to our close ties with DPI we are constantly aware of opportunities in the polymer sector.

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