Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - SUSRES (Sustainable Functional Molecules from Renewable Resources via Green Chemistry)

The project had as its main research aim, the research into the viability of producing more environmentally benign Home and Personal Care Formulations. The project was envisaged to last three years. The first year was termed the review phase, where pertinent academic and industrial scientific information was gathered, reviewed and summarised. The initial research projection called for the investigation of both small organic molecules and of polymers. The literature reviews carried out in this phase of the project highlighted that the main scientific and economic opportunity lay in bio-polymers. The rest of the project thus focussed on bio-polymers, with a special emphasis on two levels of functionality: self-preservation and structuring.

The second phase concerned the main scientific investigative phase where synthesis, modification, evaluation and characterisation of novel materials was carried out. During this phase the three main discoveries of the project came to light, which were: two main discoveries around self-preservation, and one around structuring (rheology modification) were worked up in this phase. Around the theme of preservation we found a novel, green, way to synthesise silver nano-particles, and a green way to modify chitosan to produce materials with antimicrobial properties.

Patents have been filed, but have not published yet. In a separate field, cellulose-based personal care unit-dose devices have been made. These consist of a compressed cellulose sponge and dry personal wash formulation combined. The devices are dry and re-hydrate upon use. With regards to structuring, it was found that cellulose fibres, minimally modified according to green chemistry principles, could form viscous aqueous fluids in synergy with surfactants.

In the third and final period, the above inventions were worked up further and refined, as per the original plan, and were used in the preparation of category relevant personal care prototypes. This last invention (cellulose-based structurants) is now subject to further investigation in a UK Government Agency funded research project. Details can be found on the Technology Strategy Board website, project FR&SH, TP14/SMP/61/BA013C. We expect to get to commercial exploitation of the technology at the end of this project.

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United Kingdom
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