Democratization of Sustainable Materials: How Performance is Desrisking a Path to a Post Petroleum Future

C. Dimmler
United States

Keywords: Sustainable materials, petroleum


There is a materials innovation gap: Companies are craving new materials to differentiate themselves with, innovators are hungry to work with something new, and consumers are demanding safer, more sustainable materials in their products. The field of materials science has exhausted new permutations of materials derived from petrochemical and commodity vegetable oil monomers. We are at a crossroads in which we have the opportunity to embark on a new industrial revolution led by biomanufacturing. Performance vs. sustainability is a false compromise. There is a whitespace that new biobased materials are opening. There are new kinds of chemistries and how the different chemistries lend themselves to performance properties based on the physical properties of the materials is allowing sustainable performance materials to outperform petrol based incumbents . To gain wide materials adoption that can have an impact on the climate crisis, we must make it real. We must get consumers excited about what these new materials can do and we must derisk it for companies who want to change and move away from petroleum based materials but don’t can’t take the risk to innovate in this way.