Over the past two decades, the concept of “sustainable development” has been widely adopted in science. Yet, the sustainable development of products and processes with limited resources and zero waste still poses a significant challenge for researchers and manufacturers. Here we propose to look at the concept of sustainable development at a different angle referring to Julius Caesar’s great power to multitask. The principle of gaining multiple benefits and products from a single process can be a good practical guideline for sustainability. The approach of tandem or cascade processes combined in one is especially valuable in environmental science where additional revenue is required to overcome negative margins in expensive projects on solving environmental problems. Here we will show some examples on how multiple products, such as reinforced materials, catalytic nano-particles and food additives, could be obtained in addition to tackling some environmental problems such as utilisation of agricultural wastes and remediation of contaminated soil and industrial effluents.
Maria’s interests lie in the area of generating wealth out of waste or low-value substrates by means of biotechnology (enzymes, bacteria, fungi) with a specific attention to life cycle and techno-economic assessments. In her research projects, Maria implements the principle of tandem or cascade procurement of value-added products while utilising waste and/or remediating soil, air or water as a suitable way for sustainable process engineering and process intensification. Maria’s portfolio of projects is multidisciplinary ranging from composites manufacturing, bio-catalytic processes and life cycle analysis to phytoremediation, CO2 capture and biorefinery. The main focus of Maria’s research is devoted to the following themes:
- Wealth out of waste: turning waste feedstocks into a range of value-added products for applications in pharma, cosmetics and nutraceuticals sectors
- Biorefinery processes development, antioxidant and antimicrobial chemical compounds from biomass feedstocks
- Cleaning soil and waste waters from metals, phytoremediation-biorefinery tandem
- Biogenic catalytic metallic nano-particles, novel applications of bio-catalysts
- LCA and techno-economic analyses
Further information at: https://www1.chester.ac.uk/group-user/11192/41