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Ulysses project success with renewable polyamides

Waste oil used as raw material for the production of adipic acid.

1st October 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Bergamo, Italy


The Ulysses research project led by RadiciGroup, headquartered in Bergamo, Italy, has demonstrated the feasibility of the industrial-scale production of polyamides from bio adipic acid obtained from renewable raw materials, including waste oil and by-products of the oil industry.

Working with research centres and universities, the €6.2 million project, including €1.7 million from the Region of Piedmont, began in March 2018 and has seen the establishment of a full demonstration plant.

“First, waste oil becomes a raw material for the production of adipic acid, which in turn serves as the base material for the production of polyamide polymers, the key ingredients for the manufacture of components,” said Stefano Alini, CEO of Radici InNova. “Finally, the components are fully or partially recycled at the end of their useful life.

“In this way, the circular economy cycle is completed, responding to the demand coming from an ever-increasing number of customers, especially those in the world of fashion and textiles, who are very sensitive to the environmental impact of products. These customers are requesting the development of new materials that can also meet sustainability goals at the national and EU level, such as Agenda 2030 and the Green Deal. The concept of the bioeconomy fits perfectly into the RadiciGroup sustainability programme, in which the careful use of raw materials and resources is of vital importance.”

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