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Reference Number EP/P027490/1
Title Advanced Manufacturing for Sustainable Biodegradable Microbeads - BIOBEADS
Status Completed
Energy Categories ENERGY EFFICIENCY(Industry) 10%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 100%
Principal Investigator Dr K Edler
No email address given
University of Bath
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 September 2017
End Date 30 November 2021
Duration 51 months
Total Grant Value £1,072,569
Industrial Sectors Retail
Region South West
Programme Manufacturing : Manufacturing, NC : Infrastructure
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr K Edler , Chemistry, University of Bath (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Dr D Mattia , Chemical Engineering, University of Bath (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Unilever Plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , Croda International Plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , Micropore Technologies Ltd (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract In project BIOBEADS we propose to develop, in combination, new manufacturing routes to new products. Manufacturing will be based on a low-energy process that can be readily scaled up, or down, and the products will be biodegradable microbeads, microscapsules and microsponges, which share the performance characteristics of existing plastic microsphere products, but which will leave no lasting environmental trace. Using bio-based materials such as cellulose (from plants) and chitin (from crab or prawn shells), we will use continuous manufacturing methods to generate microspheres, hollow capsules and porous particles to replace the plastic microbeads currently in use in many applications.Cellulose and chitin are biodegradable and also part of the diet of many marine organisms, meaning they have straightforward natural breakdown routes and will not accumulate in the environment. BIOBEADS will be produced using membrane emulsification techniques.The project builds on our joint expertise in membrane emulsification for continuous production of tunable droplet sizes, dissolution of cellulose and chitin in green solvents and in characterization of nanoscale and microscale structures to study all aspects of particle formation from precursors, through formation processes, to degradation routes. Yhe primary focus will be spheres and capsules, for use in cosmetics and personal care formulations, but, by understanding the processes and mechanisms of formation of these spheres, we aim to be able to tailor particle properties to suit larger scale applications from paint stripping, to fillers in biodegradable plastics.The BIOBEADS research team will work with industrial partners, including very large manufacturers of personal care products, to ensure that the research conducted can be taken up and used, so having a real, positive impact on the manufacturing of new, more sustainble products.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 28/09/17