CELLO will provide a sustainable alternative to micropalstics as whitening agents.
Agustín Mihi will receive 150.000 € for the ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) for the project “Cellulose Based Photonic Materials (CELLO)” during the following 18 months.
Microplastics are incredibly small pieces of plastic that degrade the environment and are difficult to recycle. However, they are used in many products as a whitening agent. One example is on personal care products, where microplastics are added to make them white and opaque. Reducing their use is a meaningful way to reduce harm to the planet.
“We propose the use of vegetal cellulose and marine algae-based biopolymers to develop opacifying agents and colorful biocompatible membranes with photonic functionalities for single use”, says ICMAB Researcher Agustín Mihi, PI on the new ERC Proof of Concept (Poc) Project “Cellulose Based Photonic Materials (CELLO)”.
Their alternative to microplastics is based on cellulose, the earths most abundant biopolymer. Cellulose is also bioresorbable so it will not have a negative impact on the environment. The team will exploit their extensive expertise acquired during the ERC-StG ENLIGHTMENT project in photonic architectures to engineer scattering inks from nanocellulosic and seaweed materials.
Read the full interview at ICMAB webpage!