Slimy Green Stuff BV is a TU Delft company that aims to develop and apply technology for the production and use of bio-based polymers. The polymers can be obtained from natural sources, either via harvesting or by bioprocess technology. The bioprocess technology allows bio-based polymers to be obtained from wastewater and treatment of industrial process streams. An example of wastewater treatment is the Nereda® process that uses granular sludge based methods, where the granules contain a high percentage of Alginate Like Exopolymer (ALE). This polymer is similar to the alginate that is normally harvested from brown algae (seaweed).
Leaving the polymerisation to be done by Nature avoids the necessity for production of high purity monomers. Subsequent purification and modification of the polymers is readily performed yielding materials that are suitable for a wide range of applications at very low cost. Also, the polymer properties can be optimised by including inorganic nanofillers, such as natural clay, graphene(oxide) and similar high aspect ratio nanoparticles. Basically we can mimic the structure of natural materials like nacre (shells), teeth and bones.
Some applications of these polymers are:
- biobased polymers nanocomposites
- coatings, in particular as a concrete curing compound “Delft Green”
- rheology modifiers
- fibres (textile and industrial)
- construction materials – these can be polymer modified concretes, foams for insulation etc.
Biobased polymer materials have the advantage of being sustainable and biocompatible. They can be processed in environmentally friendly solvents, often from aqueous solutions, preferably using the water they are made in anyway. They are non-toxic and non-flammable/self extinguishing. By mimicking natural materials like nacre, bone, wood it is possible to produce lightweight polymer materials with ultimate properties that are able to surpass those of current man-made synthetic polymers.
Slimy Green Stuff owns patents for the production and application of these polymers.