The growth of the world economy and the rising global population (9 billion by 2050) mean that the Earth’s natural resources are being used up fast. Resources need to be managed more efficiently throughout their life cycle, from extraction, transport, transformation and consumption, to the disposal of waste. Several companies, and research entities have developed biobased polymer resins nevertheless further improvements are needed to provide cost effective solutions with high bio-based content and suitable performances to meet for example the target of the newly enforced laws that requires some disposable items such as tableware to be home compostable from 2017 with a minimum bio-sourced content of 30% (increasing progressively in subsequent years to 60% in 2025). The combined plastic and food sector form an important part of the EU economy, accounting for 15 million jobs (7.6% of total employment). Unlocking the innovation potential in the field of packaging, and cosmetics will significantly contribute to job creation and competitiveness. Sustainable synthesis of polyhydroxyalkanaotes from agro-food by-products as well as synthesis of lactic acid co-polymers constitute a pathway to performing and sustainable polymeric matrices.
Cinelli Patrizia, Seggiani Maurizia, Coltelli Maria, Danti Serena, Righetti Maria Cristina, Gigante Vito, Sandroni Marco, Signori Francesca, Lazzeri Andrea (2020). Overview of Agro-Food Waste and By-Products Valorization for Polymer Synthesis and Modification for Bio-Composite Production. Proceedings 2021, 69(1)
Bacterial cellulose is a bacterially derived polymer with great potential for application in wound healing due to its innate properties such as high biocompatibility and biodegradability. In addition to this, it is naturally biosynthesized by bacteria as a hydrogel, which makes it an optimal substrate for the treatment of dry wounds, where additional moisture is required to facilitate the healing process. However, this polymer lacks antibacterial properties. As bacterial infections are becoming increasingly common and difficult to treat due to antimicrobial resistance, it is of crucial importance to develop strategies for the modification of cellulose to ensure protection against bacterial contamination. In this study, a green-chemistry approach was proposed for the functionalization of cellulose to introduce antibacterial functional groups.
Orlando Isabel, Basnett Pooja, Nigmatullin Rinat, Wang Wenxin, Knowles Jonathan, Roy Ipsita (2020). Chemical modification of bacterial cellulose for the development of an antibacterial wound dressing. Frontiers in Bioengineering (8).
Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a natural polymer produced by the acetic acid producing bacterium and has gathered much interest over the last decade for its biomedical and biotechnological applications. Unlike the plant derived cellulose nanofibres, which require pretreatment to deconstruct the recalcitrant lignocellulosic network, BC are 100% pure, and are extruded by cells as nanofibrils. Moreover, these nanofibrils can be converted to macrofibers that possess excellent material properties, surpassing even the strength of steel, and can be used as substitutes for fossil fuel derived synthetic fibers. The focus of the review is to present the fundamental long-term research on the influence of environmental factors on the organism's BC production capabilities, the production methods that are available for scaling up/scaled-up processes, and its use as a bulk commodity or for biomedical applications
Raghavendran Vijayendran, Asare Emmanuel, Roy Ipsita (2020). Bacterial cellulose: biosynthesis, production and applications. Advances in Microbial Physiology, 89-138.