Acronym CASEAWA (Reference Number: 106)
Duration 01/09/2020 - 31/08/2023
Project Topic The project “Advanced Materials using Biogenic Calcium Carbonate from Seashell Wastes” (CASEAWA) aims at producing chemically and physically functionalized biogenic calcium carbonate particles (FbCCP) using fishery industry waste seashells from mussels and oysters (7 Mton/year). FbCCP will be used in polymeric compounds and to obtain nano-apatites, as representatives of application in the industrial world and as biomaterials. CASEAWA will produce FbCCP that preserve the inorganic/organic composite nature of seashells and will take advantage of the organic matric presence. The latter is absent in geogenic calcium carbonate and cannot be entrapped within the calcium carbonate by synthetic procedures. The organic matrix represents the additional value of the seashells resulting from 3.5 M year evolution to achieve high performing functional properties (e.g. resistance to fracture). CASEAWA is organized in six workpackages (WPs). WP1 regards the handling procedures of waste seashells and their grinding applying by specific grinding aids. The functionalization, blending and characterization of the micro-bCCP will be carried chemically in WP2 by polymeric molecules and physically in WP3 by graphene. WP4 will produce and characterize nano-apatites from nano-FbCCP for regenerative medicine. WP5 will use FbCCP for the production of strengthened and conductive Levirex® compounds. WP6 will take care of management and dissemination activities of CASEAWA. CASEAWA consortium includes University of Bologna (WP1-2, 6), University of Konstanz (WP3,5,6), Spanish National Research Council (WP4,6) and Finproject industry (WP5,6). Their cooperation will ensure CASEAWA success covering the value chain of the waste seashells with a starting TRL2 up to a TRL5. CASEAWA is a clear example of circular economy, since seashells are a valuable biomaterial; it improves the sustainability of the aquaculture industry and provides secondary economic benefits to shellfish growers and processors.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
CASEAWA presents innovative aspects that will enlarge the current knowledge on the synthesis of new bio-inspired materials. The main one is the use of an already high level biotechnological product, the seashells, to produce bCCP that still preserve, at the nano-scale, all the features of pristine seashells. This approach offers the great advantage of using a composite material, the seashells, with enhanced, and so far impossible to reproduce in laboratory, mechanical and chemical properties that are not present in synthetic or geogenic CaCO3. CASEAWA uses specific features of the seashells to produce materials having properties beyond those of seashells (e.g. electrical conductivity). Thus, in these aspects, CASEAWA goes beyond the results of the evolutionary process that has optimized seashells to respond to the function to be performed by organisms. CASEAWA novel synthetic approach will offer the possibility of a deeper understanding of: i) the formation of chemical bonds between the carboxylate and amino groups of the organic matrix of the bCCP and specific (macro)molecules; ii) the mechanism of conductive monomer diffusion within the bCCP and its poltmerization; iii) the interaction of bCCP with graphene flakes; iv) the process of ab(d)sorption of metal ions, lanthanides and (macro)molecules into(on) the highly specific hierarchical structure of bCCP; v) the mechanism of transformation of bCCP in nano-apatite and the role of the organic matrix and the crystalline texture in this process; vi) the interaction of FbCC within the polymeric matrix of the polyolefin based Levirex® compounds.
Network BlueBio
Call 1st BlueBio Joint Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna Coordinator Italy
2 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas Partner Spain
3 University of Konstanz Partner Germany
4 FINPROJECT SPA Partner Italy