Coordinated Research Project: Innovative production of novel biocomposite based on bacterial nanocellulose from biowaste using radiation technology
The aim of this project is to develop a novel biocomposite based on biowaste that can be reused and recycled instead of using single-use plastic packaging that ends up in the soil and water. Waste from agriculture (such as brewer's grains, olive pomace, pulp residues from fruit juice production, etc.) is produced in very large quantities every year and is a serious problem, both for the environment and the economy. These wastes can be used as economical and very friendly methods for the synthesis of bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) by Komagataeibacter. BNC is a biopolymer characterized by high purity, non-toxicity, biodegradability and biocompatibility. These properties make BNC suitable for applications in the cosmetics, biomedical and packaging industries. Despite the increasing importance of BNC around the world, the production process still encounters a number of challenges, including low production yields and limited BNC layer thicknesses, all of which are major barriers to the mass production and application of BNC. Radiation technology has attracted the interest of biotechnologists due to its importance in treating versatile materials to improve their properties.
In the proposed project, we will combine biowaste, diatomite biomass and gamma irradiation to increase the yield of nanocellulose and improve the properties of the novel biocomposite. The biodegradable composite will serve as a packaging material and as a suspension to modify various substrates to improve their specific properties. It will also reduce the environmental impact of packaging and promote a more sustainable future.