From Waste to Wealth: Upcycling into Functional Materials

The innovative upcycling of discarded biomass and littered non-recyclable plastic waste has garnered significant interest for its potential to address sustainability challenges. This seminar will cover the extraction and purification methods of polysaccharides from food processing waste. It will also explore the functionalisation of these polysaccharides and their nanomaterials through chemical modification or blending with other materials, highlighting their potential applications in fields such as dentistry, catalysis, and wastewater treatment.

Special emphasis will be placed on chitinous biomass recovered from mushroom cultivations, seafood restaurants, and insect farms. Additionally, the seminar will delve into the novel approach of carbonising non-recyclable plastic waste, such as cigarette filters, to produce hard carbons for alkali-ion batteries.

Finally, the sustainability and economic aspects of using discarded biomass and littered non-recyclable plastics as feedstocks for functional materials will be discussed. The goal of the seminar is to provide insights and future trends into how natural and synthetic waste can be transformed into valuable resources through the development of functional materials, thereby contributing to a more sustainable and circular economy.