Development of eco-friendly bio-shampoo and plant protectant technology

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Sustainable and newly developed chemicals and early product assessments allow us to assess the potential risk of toxic substances being released later in the product cascade. This was revealed in a proof-of-concept study jointly coordinated by Goethe University and RWTH Aachen University in Frankfurt. In the course of the research, the toxicity of sustainable biosurfactants that may be applied, for example to bio-shampoos, and the toxicity of new technologies for the economic deployment of plant protectants are a combination of computer modeling and laboratory experiments. Was analyzed using. This research is the first step towards a safe bioeconomy from an environmental toxicological standpoint, using sustainable resources and processes to significantly reduce the environmental burden.

The earth’s natural resources are scarce, but at the same time it is the foundation of our prosperity and development. The dilemma that the EU is trying to overcome with the help of a revised bioeconomic strategy. Instead of relying on fossil-based materials, the economy should be based on renewable materials. These include plants, wood, microbes and algae. At some point, everything should be found in a closed loop, but the implementation of a sound-cycle bioeconomy requires a shift in the production of chemicals. These also need to be manufactured from biomaterials, not crude oil. Based on these requirements, American chemists Paul Anastas and John C. Warner developed 12 principles of green chemistry in 1998. But one of their principles has been largely ignored so far. It is the reduction of environmental toxicity of newly developed substances.

This is where the interdisciplinary project “Green Toxi Conomy”, which is part of the Bio-Economic Science Center (BioSC) of the Science Alliance, appears.The purpose was to investigate bio-based substances Innovative technology With a view to the toxic effects on the environment in the early stages of Product development Incorporate the resulting results into Product design.. Project partners in Aachen, Jülich and Düsseldorf have offered two potential bio-based products for analysis: crop protectants and microgel containers for biosurfactants.

The cleansing active biosurfactants used in BioSC shampoos and detergents are not based on crude oil, but on the ability to synthesize Pseudomonas petitda and Ustilagomaidis, respectively. Microgel technology allows the container to ensure that the active ingredient adheres to the plant even when it rains, allowing a controlled supply of crop protectants.

Dr. Sara Johan, lead author of the study and head of the Working Group on Evolutionary Ecology and Environmental Toxology at the Institute for Ecology, Evolution and Diversity in Frankfurt, University of Goethe, explains: increase. We chose a wide range of concentrations to better estimate the potential danger to humans and the environment. I wanted to find out if bio-based surfactants are more environmentally friendly than traditional chemical surfactants. In addition, the microgel container itself induces toxicity. “

To ensure that the ecotoxicity assessment is as accurate as possible, the project team combined two factors in determining toxicity. Computer-aided prediction (in silico) and laboratory experiments (in vitro and in vivo). Computer models process toxicity data for known chemicals and compare their structure to the structure of new biobased substances to predict toxicity. Experiments were conducted at a very early stage on aquatic and terrestrial organisms that represent certain groups of organisms, such as earthworms, beetles, fleas, and zebrafish embryos.

Results: Both biosurfactants and microgels are very promising candidates for future bioeconomic use, and their products do not cause environmental damage or harm to humans both during and after use. Must be manufactured in a sustainable way. “But the complexity of transferring experimental results to reality in open fields and other applications allows us to make statements only within certain limits,” says Johann. Further research is needed to comprehensively assess potential risks. Therefore, a follow-up project is planned.

Professor Henner Hollert, Head of Evolutionary Ecology and Environmental Toxicology at the University of Goethe in Frankfurt, emphasizes the importance of close interdisciplinary collaboration on the “Green ToxiConomy”. In this project, biotechnicians and engineers jointly designed a new product. This was evaluated during development by an environmental toxicologist at the University of Goethe and a team at RWTH Aachen led by Professor Martina Roß-Nickoll. “This ongoing process is the project’s greatest strength.” For Horat, ecotoxicology and green toxicology were created by the EU, although it is only the first step towards a safe bioeconomics from an ecotoxicology perspective. It is already clear that it will play an important role in the planning. “Whenever it is a matter of future bio-based product development and product design, we must identify the impacts on humans and the environment at an early stage. In this regard, our approach is of value. Can provide some results. “

The study was published in Dangerous goods journal..

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For more information:
Sarah Johann et al, Petition for Integration of Green Toxicology in Sustainable Bioeconomic Strategy – Biosurfactant and Microgel-Based Pesticide Release System as an Example, Dangerous goods journal (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.jhazmat.2021.127800

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Development of eco-friendly bio-shampoo and plant protectant technology

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