Acronym BIOSHELL (Reference Number: 109)
Duration 10/04/2020 - 09/04/2022
Project Topic Wastes from agriculture and fishery cause harmful effects on the environment and implicitly on humans. But, many of these wastes can be recycled. One of the current global issues refers to minimizing waste production, effective wastewater treatment, biosafe food production, and reducing hazards from the exposure to pathogens. Most of the threatening microorganisms especially emerging pathogens (EPs) derive from wastewater. Moreover, antibiotics residues present in wastewater lead bacterial pathogens to develop antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). In addition, heavy metals are among the most harmful non-microbial pollutants due to their toxicity to humans. BIOSHELL aims at synergistically solving economic, environmental and health problems. The project focuses on utilizing the wastes from sea food preparation such as crustacean carcasses in the development of innovative and efficient inorganic-organic functionalized hydrogel nanocomposites, suitable to facilitate the sustainable wastewater purification technologies about heavy metals retention, antibiotics elimination, EPs and ARGs removal.Objectives: Functional biopolymer-based hydrogels starting from valorized crustacean’s shell wastes will be developed both for the metal and antibiotics retention in waters as well as for anti-bacterial treatment. These competitive materials will be ion imprinted polymers (IIPs) or molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). They will benefit from new synthesis methodologies applied for chelating the chitosan nanocomposites and for the chemical graftingof the bactericidal hybrid surfaces. The development of new approaches for the valorization of crustacean wastes, by the new functionalized biohydrogels, will improve the on-site wastewater treatment in EU. The regeneration of new bio-based agents is also targeted. Results: (i) 6 scientific papers in ISI rated journals; (ii) 2 patent applications; (iii) attend prestigious Symposia (6); (iv) 3 workshops and 2 Invention Salons; (v) website. PROJECT
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The results obtained in the project are highly innovative and with multiple beneficial effects on quality of life. First, through the valorization of fishery wastes and the production of new IIPs, MIPs and antibacterial materials, an increase in Gross Domestic Product will be achieved and thus an increase in fees collected for the state budget, with obvious positive social effects. Secondly, the recovery of wastes, whose decomposition emanates odors, would favor the maintenance of adequate comfort conditions for the population and tourists from around the seaside, riverbanks and producing food fish factories. Thirdly, the new materials will insure the complying with the EU water quality standards with beneficial effects on the environment and species biodiversity, which will allow the obtaining of good quality food from aquatic organisms. Better quality of these foods and potable clean water will improve population health. Finally, a particularly favourable effect will be the creation of new jobs in the manufacturing and use of new IIPs, MIPs and antibacterial polymeric materials obtained using new chemical grafting methodologies, all together in a circular economy vision. The performance of new chelating agents will be far superior to currently used materials. Compared to ion exchangers the specificity of the IIPs will allow a much lower specific consumption, which correlated with lower estimated cost of materials from wastes, will significantly decrease the cost of heavy metals retention from water. The molecular imprinting with antibiotics will allow a very high selectivity, very important for this kind of pollutants, occuring in very small amount in waters. Compared to the existing chelating agents, including those based on chitosan, the new products are at lower cost due to the use of crustacean’s shell waste. At the same time, they exhibit a higher retention capacity and selectivity and superior physicomechanical features due to their inorganic-organic nanocomposite structure, the increased specific surface and new ligands attached to chitosan. The permanent antibacterial activity obtained through covalent bonding of quaternary ammonium or phosphonium salts and the non-diffusive mechanism of action will provide high added value. In addition, the new nanocomposite structure will allow a much easier regeneration and recycling of materials, with positive effects on the overall cost of water treatments.
Network BlueBio
Call 1st BlueBio Joint Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 The National Institute for Research & Development in Chemistry and Petrochemistry Coordinator Romania
2 S.C. EDAS-EXIM S.R.L. Partner Romania
3 University of Coimbra Partner Portugal
4 Brinova Bioquimica Lda Partner Portugal
5 Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research Partner Norway