egyptian researchers turn shrimp shells into biodegradable plastic

by:Yucai     2020-01-15
CAIRO (Reuters)-
Researchers at Egypt\'s Nile University are developing a way to turn shrimp shells that would have been thrown away into biodegradable plastic films
Friendly grocery bags and packaging.
Two months later.
In a one-year project, the research team succeeded in creating a thin and clear prototype using the Chitose, a material in the shell of many shellfish.
\"It really helps us reduce waste if it\'s commercialized. . .
It can help us improve our food exports because the plastic has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, \"Irene Sami, a professor in charge of the project, told Reuters.
The researchers bought unwanted shrimp shells from restaurants, supermarkets and local fishermen at cheap prices.
Samy said it is more sustainable to use shrimp shells because it can replace synthetic materials used in plastics and reduce the amount of biological waste produced by the Egyptian food industry.
The team said that the shell has been cleaned, chemically treated, ground and dissolved into a solution dried into a plastic film, and this technology has great potential
Industrial production of scale.
\"Egypt imported about 3,500 tons of shrimp, which produced 1,000 tons of shells as waste. . .
We can make biodegradable plastic bags instead of throwing away the shell, \"Hani Chbib, a researcher at the project, told Reuters.
The project is a collaboration between the Nile University four-person group and another research group at the University of Nottingham, UK, where Samy carried out her post
The doctor studied and began to try the idea.
The team produced only a small number of samples and the project is not ready for commercial production yet, but the team is working to develop performance that allows the material to be widely used.
\"We are continuing our efforts to improve its performance, such as thermal stability and durability,\" Samy said . \".
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