PHAT: THICKENER AND BINDER FROM NATURE
Thickeners and binders are essential for the production of modern lubricants - however, petroleum-based products are generally used for this purpose. Since October 2017, FUCHS and three partners from the chemical and biotechnology industries have been researching a more environment-friendly alternative.
The project, which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the funding initiative "Tailor-made biobased ingredients for a competitive bioeconomy (PHAt)", focuses on "polyhydroxyalkanoates" (PHA) - biodegradable biopolymers. Different PHA are produced by several bacterial species as part of their energy metabolism. The challenge of the PHAt project is now to chemically modify the polymers obtained, optimize their thickening and binding properties and test them in various applications. The aim by the end of the project at the end of September 2020 is to integrate the new raw materials into suitable lubricants for various applications, from tractors to wind turbines.