IAA_ Biobeads

  • Mattia, Davide (PI)
  • Scott, Janet L (CoI)
  • Coombs O'Brien, James (Researcher)

Project: Research council

Project Details


To explore the conversion of a continuous process for the production of biodegradable cellulose microbeads from lab scale to pilot scale. The cellulose microbeads are meant as a direct replacement for plastic microbeads used in personal care and consumer products (PCCP). Responding to the ban in US (2018) and UK (2019) on the use of plastic microbeads in some PCCPs, manufacturers are actively looking for viable alternatives, given that current ones, e.g., ground nutshells, oatmeal, waxes and synthetic silica particles do not meet all their requirements (performance, cost or both). With the EU poised to ban plastic microbeads from all products by 2021, there is an very large commercial opportunity for a viable alternative. Following the publication of our work on the continuous production of cellulose microbeads [ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng., 2017, 5, 5931], we have been approached by numerous companies interested in the technology, which has been the impetus for this IAA project. The project will consist of 2 parts: On the technical side, we will explore how to produce larger quantities of the materials to provide samples to those cosmetic and ingredient manufacturer who have already approached us. On the commercial side, we will perform a market analysis to understand market potential and needs. By the end of the project we aim to have applied for InnovateUK funding to commercialise the process, potentially via the incorporation of a start-up company as a vehicle for commercialisation.
Effective start/end date1/02/1831/05/19

Collaborative partners


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


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