Environmental pollution issues are facingfirst place in the research of the world's leading scientific centers. The use of an integrated solution, such as that proposed by a researcher from the University of Sussex in the UK, who proposed using the waste of the fishing industry for the manufacture of a special type of biological plastic that can replace traditional plastics, is especially welcome. The presentation of the MarinaTex material allowed the 24-year-old Lucy Hughes to win the James Dyson Award 2019.
The fishing industry produces giganticvolumes of waste, England alone throws into the landfill almost 500 thousand tons of by-products per year. These are fish blood, scales, shells, shells and skin. A young researcher came to the conclusion that strong protein structures of scales and skin can be used in the manufacture of plastic.
For the integration of proteins extracted from fish wasteHughes used an organic binder as a unit. At the same time, in order to reduce transportation costs, it was necessary to find material located not far from the waste collection site of the fishing industry. Such material was agar produced from red algae. After numerous experiments conducted under the usual conditions of student kitchen, Hughes received MarinaTex biodegradable biological plastic.
Outwardly, a new bioplastics is difficult to distinguish from traditional plastic - it is transparent and thin, odorless material. You can use MarinaTex with packaging or for the production of disposable household items.
It is noteworthy that for the production of bioplasticsminimum amount of energy is needed: the process temperature is only 100 degrees Celsius. The material decomposes in just 4-6 weeks and does not emit any harmful by-products. Along the way, the girl solves the issue of recycling a huge amount of fishing industry waste. So, for the release of 1400 standard packages, waste from the processing of one fish, Atlantic cod, will be required.
Winning the James Dyson Award2019, Lucy Hughes received a prize of £ 30 thousand ($ 39 thousand), which she intends to use for the further development of MarinaTex release technology. The first packages made from waste from the fishing industry can enter the market as early as 2021.