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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V002236/1
Title: Breaking FROntiers for advanced engineering of bespoke, functional Biopolymer COmposite materials (FROBCO)
Principal Investigator: Xie, Dr DF
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
National Farmers Union (NFU) Univ Hosp Coventry and Warwick NHS Trust
Department: WMG
Organisation: University of Warwick
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 January 2021 Ends: 31 December 2025 Value (£): 1,288,647
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Environment Healthcare
Manufacturing Food and Drink
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
28 Sep 2020 Engineering Fellowship Interview Panel 29 and 30 September 2020 Announced
10 Jun 2020 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 10 and 11 June 2020 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This fellowship programme will take a circular economy (CE) approach and unlock the huge potential of renewable biomass, which can be easily sourced from agriculture/aquaculture/food industry as byproducts or wastes. The biomass contains biopolymers cellulose, chitin/chitosan, starch, protein, alginate and lignin, which are valuable resources for making environmentally friendly materials. Moreover, these biopolymers have unique properties and functions, which make them highly potential in important, rapidly growing applications such as therapeutic agent delivery, tissue engineering scaffolds, biological devices, green electronics, sensing, dye and heavy metal removal, oil/water separation, and optics. However, enormous challenges exist to process biopolymers and achieve desired properties/functions cost-effectively; these valuable biomass resources have long been underutilised. This proposed ambitious and adventurous research will focus on the smart design of materials formulation and engineering process from an interdisciplinary perspective to realise the assembly of biopolymer composite materials under a single flow process. This will eventually lead to a reinvented, cost-effective engineering technology based on 3D printing to produce a diverse range of robust, biopolymer composite materials with tailored structure, properties and functionality. Due to the versatile chemistry of biopolymers for modification, the bespoke 'green' materials are expected to outperform many synthetic polymers and composites for specific applications such as tissue engineering and controlled release. The outcomes of this transformative project will not only provide fundamental knowledge leading to a completely new line of research, but also deliver ground-breaking technologies that will impact the UK's plastic industry by providing truly sustainable and high-performance options for high-end technological areas (e.g. healthcare and agriculture).
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Summary
Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.warwick.ac.uk