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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/P006892/1
Title Enabling manufacturing of Functional Nanomaterials using SynBio
Status Completed
Energy Categories Not Energy Related 50%;
Energy Efficiency(Industry) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields BIOLOGICAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (Biological Sciences) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 50%;
Not Cross-cutting 50%;
Principal Investigator Dr SV Patwardhan
No email address given
Chemical and Process Engineering
University of Strathclyde
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 December 2016
End Date 30 November 2020
Duration 48 months
Total Grant Value £626,900
Industrial Sectors Manufacturing; Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Region Scotland
Programme NC : Engineering, NC : Physical Sciences
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr SV Patwardhan , Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Strathclyde (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Dr SS Staniland , Chemistry, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , University of Bath (0.000%)
Project Contact , Glantreo Ltd, Ireland (0.000%)
Project Contact , Grace Davison Discovery Sciences, Germany (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain (0.000%)
Project Contact , Resonant Circuits Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Sigma Aldrich USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , Strem Chemicals UK Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Svenska Aerogel Holding AB, Sweden (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Miami, USA (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract This year, the global demand for nanomaterial, which is already a multi-billion$ industry, will have grown 2.5-fold since 2012. Current nanomaterials production methods are at least 1000 times more wasteful when compared to the production of bulk and fine chemicals. Consequently there is an urgent need to develop green production methods for nanomaterials which can allow greater control over materials properties, yet require less energy, produce less waste (i.e. eco-friendly) and are cost-effective.Nature produces more than 60 distinct inorganic nanomaterials (e.g. CaCO3, Fe3O4, silica) on the largest of scales through self-assembly under ambient conditions (biomineralisation). Although biological methods for nanomaterials synthesis (e.g. using microorganisms or complex enzymes) are effective in reducing environmental burden, they are expensive, inefficient and/or currently not scalable to industrial production.We will adopt a synthetic biology (SynBio) approach, which is one of the EPSRC's core strategic themes, by harnessing the biological principles to design advanced nanomaterials leading to novel manufacturing methods. SynBio is a very powerful tool for the production of high-precision advanced functional nanomaterials and our approach marries two of the "8 great technologies for the future" ("Synthetic Biology" and "Advanced Nanomaterials"). Instead of using cells or microbes, our SynBio strategy uses synthetic molecules (SynBio additives) inspired from biomineralisation. SynBio produces a wide range of well-defined and tunable nanomaterials under mild (ambient) conditions, quickly and with little waste. Our SynBio approach offers the potential for high-yields, like the traditional chemical precipitation method, together with the precision, customisation, efficiency and low waste of biomineralisation.The bulk of research on bioinspired synthesis of nanomaterials has been performed at small scales and, although there are good opportunities for developing nanomaterials manufacturing based on bioinspired approaches, there are no reports on larger-scale investigations. Adopting a bioinspired SynBio approach, this project will enable the controlled synthesis and scalability of silica and magnetic nanoparticles (SNP and MNP) which are worth ~$11 billion globally. These methods are far more amenable to scale-up and can truly be considered 'green'. This SynBio process can reduce the manufacturing carbon footprint (by >90%), thus providing a significant cost benefit to industry.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 14/08/17