Biopolymer-based materials and coatings
The curent environmental situation demands a special focus on alternatives to decrease the carbon print on several applications:
Fluorine-free superhydrophobic coatings
Superhydrophobic surfaces (SHS) have many potential applications, ranging from icing prevention and protection to selective liquid sorption. SHS are conventionally prepared from fluorine-based materials, which guarantee exceptionally low surface energy and flexibility, but these are also highly polluting chemicals with long retention times in natural environments; thus, there exists the need for sustainable, fluorine-free alternatives for SHS. This is the scope of this research: the development of a chitosan-based, fluorine-free superhydrophobic coating, prepared via the surface functionalization of the biopolymer chitosan with stearoyl chloride, a natural hydrophobic moiety.
Functional polysaccharide coatings
Polysaccharides can be used as coatings to control and reduce interaction between proteins and the capillary walls in capillary electrophoresis, with the goal of improving electrophoretic separation. We engineer polysaccharides using different chemical reactions and use them as capillary coatings. .
Polymers for water remediation
Smart interfaces with controlled wetting and nano-structuring play a major role in the development of efficient processes for clean water, including both drinking water and polluted sea water cleaning, e.g. after large oil spill.
Within the framework of green material fabrication, cellulose nanofibrils from natural resources were used to fabricate extremely porous light-weight materials, with selective liquid sorption, due to tailored hydrophobic-oleophilic interfacial wetting properties