Gert-Jan Gruter has a background in Polymers (DSM 1993-2000; Professor of Polymer Catalysis at TU/e). In 2000 he transferred to Avantium. As CTO he initiated technologies to produce FDCA and MEG from carbohydrates and PEF polyester for bottles, fibers and film. Gruter is also working on DAWN biorefining (2G glucose) and electrocatalytic CO2 reduction as well as downstream monomers (oxalic acid, glycolic acid) and subsequent polyesters.
Gruter is inventor on more than 100 PCT patents. He was elected “2014 European CTO of the year”. As Professor Industrial Sustainable Chemistry at the UvA, he works on sustainable polyesters, biodegradation and chemical recycling, consumer psychology and ocean plastics.
The course is about the transition of the 400 million tons of fossil-based (commodity) plastics annually produced to sustainable alternatives from biomass and from CO2. Emphasis will be on materials for larger volume applications such as packaging and fibers for textiles and less on specialty polymers for medical or electronics applications.
The course will start with discussing why the world needs a transition to green plastics and circularity (#1). What are the current problems with (fossil) plastics such as the carbon footprint, environmental (micro/nano)plastics, recyclability (open-loop versus close-loop) and circularity.