BOOCELL Project

State:

in progress

The primary objective is the development of innovative and sustainable materials to replace plastic materials in packaging, cosmetics and fertiliser applications. 

Promoting the use of nanocellulose for the development of new sustainable materials in cosmetics, biofertiliser and bioplastics applications

Objectives

BOOCELL's primary objective is the development of innovative and sustainable materials to replace plastic materials in packaging, cosmetics and fertiliser applications.

  • This project will combine biotechnology and materials science to create materials from renewable sources such as cellulose and biopolymers (polyhydroxyalkanoates and starches).

To this end, four main avenues of work are explored:

  • Production of nanocellulose from agricultural waste.. Agricultural waste (prunings, stalks, leaves, straws, etc.) will be transformed into cellulose and lignocellulose for application in new end products with a process that will allow 50% chemical and energy savings. This innovative process will reduce the environmental impact and maximise the consistency of the product. This process will then be scaled up to ensure its future industrialisation.
  • Production of high purity bacterial nanocellulose that consumes CO2 during its manufacture. A scaling-up process will also be carried out in order to achieve a process compatible with industry and to be able to reach the market in the coming years.
  • Development of micro/nano encapsulation. The different types of cellulose obtained and the tailor-made functionalisation will be the basis for new micro and nanocapsules, which will be used for different purposes:
    • To encapsulate fragrances and active essential oils, producing standard capsules (for use in cosmetics with antimicrobial/antioxidant effect and compatible with the aromas of the cosmetic formulation) and core-shell capsules, where each system will be designed depending on the final application.
    • To encapsulate micro-organisms in a stable way, so as to improve microbial viability in formulation processes and enzyme extract and denaturation inhibition activity.
  • Use of micro/nano-encapsulated materials in specific applications:
    • Cosmetics, personal care products, detergents and cleaning products: Formulation with cellulose-based capsules will be developed, replacing plastic capsules, and adding active compounds to fragrances to extend shelf life and reduce preservatives and other additives in cosmetic formulations.
    • Advanced encapsulation of microorganisms and enzyme extracts to be used as biofertilisers and biostimulants, replacing traditional plastic capsules and chemicals currently used in cultivation.
    • Development of cellulose-based nanocomposites for use in compostable flexible films for household packaging applications, thus promoting the use of sustainable materials and introducing new options for single-use plastics.

Project participants

Funding

The BOOCELL project (PLEC2021-008210) has been funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and by the European Union NextGeneration EU/PRTR.

Duration

October 2021 - September 2024

Estimates

€460,202.90

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