Growing sustainable materials – Modulating the bottom-up assembly of bio-based building blocks
The wide-scaled use of materials combining a short service-life and poor end-of-life is a growing problem that requires imminent solution. The most notorious example is single use synthetic packages, where increasingly stringent policies and customer demands further drives the need for the development of sustainable materials. Alongside advances in colloidal science, bio-based colloids have emerged as promising building blocks for the fabrication of sustainable materials. For instance, the nano-scaled crystals of cellulose are stronger than steel, they can easily reintegrate the ecosphere, and their biosynthesis involve a high inherent carbon capture. In this talk, the dynamics of consolidation of bio-based colloids into multi-scaled materials are highlighted across various assembly configurations. For each configuration, new classes of materials and the replacement of hazardous and environmentally unfriendly counterparts can be envisioned. Importantly, insights into the development of self-cohesion and interfacial adhesion of biopolymers are put forward as tools to further enable their engineering. This is expected to significantly facilitate the implementation of such bio-based materials in industries that are reconverting their manufacturing towards more sustainable materials as well as the growing bio-based industries.
Bio: After graduating from EPFL (Bioengineering, 2009), Blaise Tardy obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from The University of Melbourne, Australia, with Frank Caruso (2015). He is currently a research fellow in the team of Orlando Rojas at the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Aalto University, Finland. His research interests include interfacial assembly and the formation of structured materials from nano- and microparticles obtained from renewable sources. His research aims to establish the physico-chemical principles underlying the assembly of biopolymers and bio-colloids in order to facilitate their wide-spread implementation into high performance sustainable materials.