“I have developed a new material that serves as the basis for more robust fibers”


Dr. Boris Marx grew up in the Belgian Eifel region and has always been very attached to nature. After completing a degree in mechatronics, the scientist earned his doctorate at the University of Hohenheim. His dissertation focused on reducing soil compaction in arable farming to relieve the environment. The desire to protect the natural environment led Marx to his current job at Faserinstitut Bremen (FIBRE). Here he conducts research into alternatives for petroleum-based plastics in the field of biopolymers. Above all, he is interested in technical fibers. “I’m also motivated in my work by my children, because I want them to benefit from a more sustainable world,” he says.


From sofa cushions to trampolines, technical fibers are everywhere. They are mostly based on petroleum, but could be produced in a more environmentally friendly way from biopolymers such as polylactic acid (PLA). PLA has so far only been suitable for simple structures such as textile fibers. This is where Marx’s research comes into play. “I have developed a new material that serves as the basis for more robust fibers,” he says. Using a special compounding process, the scientist modified two PLA starting materials into a stereocomplex PLA blend in powder form. Marx’s material can also be used to sustainably develop technical fibers for more complex industries such as aeronautics or medicine, thus further replacing conventional plastics.

Photo: Lena Kölsch/Faserinstitut Bremen e.V.


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