Science Innovation Hub

Bacterial biocellulose

Pure and ecological bio-cellulose

 

image1.jpgRemarkable breakthrough in the field of bio-renewable materials have been made in recent decades. Bacterial cellulose (BC), a crystalline polysaccharide polymer consisting of β-linked glucose monomers (1 → 4), has become of paramount importance today because of its biocompatibility and its unique and unique characteristics.


Vegetable cellulose, a structural polymer composed of glucose (C6H10O5)n, is the main constituent of cell walls of plants, and as such the main constituent of cotton and wood. It is used in a wide variety of industrial sectors, particularly in the pharmaceutical field as well as in the food industry, textile production, or in the printing industry, but requires a chemical purification treatment.


At a time when deforestation and climate change are very worrying, and where the demand for high-purity, low-cost cellulose is growing, new sources of cellulose production must be considered. In the laboratory, we have isolated an acetic acid bacteria from wine vinegar that produces large quantities of cellulose. The BC thus produced is of high purity, has a high degree of polymerization (no lignin, pectin or hemicellulose, so without the need for polluting chemical purification). Last but not least, the BC is biocompatible and biodegradable, which gives it an ecological advantage superior to the products currently on the market.


It is undeniable that a compound with multiple industrial application possibilities can only be marketed when its production process is efficient, profitable and competitive on the market. The literature consulted indicates that bacterial cellulose is not yet profitable, which is why it is not very present on the market. At the Hub, we work to improve the production of high quality cellulose from a high-performance bacterium grown in low-cost, natural growing media.

 

Team:

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François Barja