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inventieve oplossing voor productie bioafbreekbaar plastic


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Posted · inventieve oplossing voor productie bioafbreekbaar plastic

Michiel Dusselier, een bio-ingenieur van de KU Leuven, heeft de Eos Pipet 2016 gewonnen. Met die prijs bekroont het wetenschapsblad Eos de meest beloftevolle jonge onderzoeker van het jaar.

De jury looft de 30-jarige Dusselier voor zijn "inventieve oplossing om bioafbreekbaar plastic op een meer milieuvriendelijke en eenvoudigere manier te produceren".

Schoner, efficiënter en goedkoper

Het bioplastic polymelkzuur (PLA) wordt nu gemaakt van suiker. Het productieproces is echter omslachtig en een pak duurder dan de productie van klassieke plastics uit aardolie. De bio-ingenieur werkt met zeolieten (poreuze mineralen) die melkzuurmoleculen rechtstreeks kunnen omzetten in PLA-bouwstenen. Dat maakt dat de productie van PLA schoner, efficiënter en goedkoper.

Polymelkzuur wordt gebruikt in bijvoorbeeld groenteverpakkingen en composteerbare bekers, en is erg geschikt voor medische toepassingen en 3D-printing. Dusselier ziet vooral groeimogelijkheden voor het bioplastic in 3D-printing, omdat PLA niet stinkt. "Als 3D-printers voor thuisgebruik algemeen worden, ligt daar zeker een markt voor PLA", zegt de postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de KU Leuven. Zijn onderzoek verscheen in het vakblad Science.


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