BioPlastics for Agriculture Application and Benefits
Speaker: Mercedes Jiménez Rosado
Registration Fee: 50 US$ / Person
Time Length: ~60 Min
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Description: Bioplastics have become a potential alternative to the use of plastics. More specifically, they will contribute to reducing the high accumulation of the latter, which is caused by their low biodegradability. In addition, these bioplastics can be obtained from waste and by-products from other industries (mainly agri-food), which not only lowers their costs but also allows them to make the most of the available resources, contributing to supporting the circular economy. In the horticultural sectors, these bioplastics provide new alternatives that reduce the use of resources. Thus, superabsorbent bioplastics can be used as a complementary water source, since they can absorb and retain a large amount of water, supplying it to crops in drought times. In this way, the water cycle is improved, by rationalizing crop irrigation. Moreover, these bioplastics can also be used for the controlled release of nutrients and can be modulated with their biodegradability. Thus, the efficiency of assimilation of these by crops is improved, avoiding the excessive use of fertilizers. However, to achieve these benefits it is important to study the processing of these materials so that they can have the required functional characteristics. Therefore, this webinar would focus on highlight the principal applications of bioplastics in horticulture, paying great attention in the novel tends and latest research in this area.
Speaker: I started the Degree in Industrial Chemical Engineering in 2013. In June 2016, I enjoyed a Research Initiation Scholarship in Technology and Design of Multicomponent Products group (TEP-229) granted by the Universidad de Sevilla, where I developed superabsorbent soy protein-based matrices with micronutrients necessary for horticulture. I continued this line of research with a Collaboration Scholarship form the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte of Spanish Government, combining it with the Final Degree Project, so I finished the degree in June 2017 obtaining the awards from the Real Maestranza de Sevilla and Excellency Seville City Council for the best academic record. Then, I completed the Master in Food Technology and Industry and worked as Support Researcher in the TEP-229 group in the project “Development of superabsorbent and biodegradable materials processed by agro-industrial by-products”. Actually, I am hired by a fellowship for Training of University Teachers (FPU2017/01718) of the Ministry of Education and Professional Training in the Chemical Engineering department of the Universidad de Sevilla under the doctoral program “Installations and Systems for Industry” where I continue to develop my career as a researcher and as a teacher. All this has resulted in the publication of 23 articles in indexed international journals, as well as 15 book chapters and participation in 40 congresses.