Benign and Circular by Design – Sustainable Organophosphates
Uva-HIMS and Susphos
Phosphorus is essential for life on Earth and plays a prominent role in modern science and technology, where organophosphorus compounds are of immense importance for their wide-ranging applications in material science, nanotechnology and life sciences. At present, however, the overall industrial processes to produce these phosphorus compounds are unsustainable, energy intensive, and ineﬃcient. Additionally, many organophosphorus chemicals are found in the environment, contributing to ever-growing chemical pollution. In this project, we will develop a computer-aided framework for the design of benign chemicals, making use of state-of-the-art predictive models and innovative experimental assessment techniques for environmentally relevant properties. Simultaneously, we will advance the eco-friendly production of benign organophosphates using waste phosphates as renewable feedstock, which will prevent their constant spillage in the environment. We will implement these innovations into a broader context and develop scalable protocols, which are needed to realize safe and sustainable phosphorus chemistry on a large scale, introducing systematic and targeted molecular design, as well as recycling, clean, and ‘cradle-to-cradle’ technologies as ground-breaking changes in the field to ensure the continued beneficial use of phosphorus, in particular as sustainable flame-retardant additives for textiles.