BIOMATERIALS

BIOMATERIALS2018-08-17T10:38:44+00:00

The consumption of plastics in Chile is of the order of 900.000 tons per year (50 kg/inhabitant/year), with high and low-density polyethylenes (HDPE and LDPE), polypropylene (PP) and polyethyleneterephthalate (PET) being the dominant ones. The Biomaterials Department strives to develop applications of plastics in the container and packaging sector, forest industry, agriculture, trade and construction. Our purpose is to address the negative environmental impact of plastics derived from fossil fuels, due to their slow biodegradability. This feature contrasts with the fact that most of these products are used for a very short time.

Therefore, one of our priority R+D efforts is the formulation of biodegradable plastics. The main raw materials are thermoplastic starch, polylactic acid (PLA) and cellulose acetate, algae, cellulose microfibrils, as well as different types of additives and compatibilizers. The main products are tree-plant-containers, mulch, fasteners, rootstock clamps, mono and multilayer flexible containers, thermoformed containers as well as bags and injected products for trade industries.

In addition, the food packaging businesses requires plastics containing active properties that allow the exported food to preserve its high quality during transportation. Such is the case of materials possessing antimicrobial properties or low gas permeability.

At UDT we have the largest installed capacity in the country for characterization and transformation of plastic materials, both at laboratory and pilot levels. Important among these are the determination of thermal (DSC, TGA), rheological (MFI, capillary rheometer) and mechanical (universal test machine, Charpy Impact) properties; mixing equipment (torque rheometer, high speed mixer), two composite material extrusion plants (capacities of approximately 25 and 100 kg/h), a 100 t closing force injection moulding machine and a three-layer extruded blown film production plant.

We are also active in technology transfer and market assessment: we have recently developed of wood-plastic composite materials, which are used by the company American Home (Comberplast group) for the manufacture of injected household products (e.g., trays, trash cans, dish dryers), which are sold in more than a dozen Sodimac stores located in Santiago, Valparaíso and Concepción.

The new research lines of the Department are the addition of value to recycled rubber, the development of various elastomeric products for the construction industry, and of materials with high abrasive resistance for the mining industry. Our most recent area is in biomass-derived carbon materials. Here we are making remarkable scientific progress, publishing in high-impact journals and developing entrepreneurial R+D projects such as the development of photovoltaic components and photoreactors for treatment of contaminated water.

RESEARCH LINES

Development of nano-piezoelectric materials for the generation of non-conventional renewable energy (NCRE) from mechanical vibrations available in the environment. Fondef Idea, code ID15I10312. Associated companies, Metro S.A. / Solsur / Decosolar / ALMA Project. December 2015-December 2017.

Development of last generation thin layer solar cells based on carbon doped semiconductors. Fondef Idea, code ID15I10321. Associated company, ERE / EOLICASOLAR. December 2015-December 2017.

Development of a sunscreen prototype based on core-shell nanostructures of ZnO-CeO2 and CeO2-ZnO for skin care. Fondef Idea, code ID15I10500. Associated company, Laboratorio Pasteur S.A. December 2015-December 2017.

Solar photoreactor for the treatment of water contaminated with heavy metals and dangerous anions. Innova Chile, code 15IPPID-45676. Associated company, Puerta del Sur Ltda. October 2015-October 2017.

Development of reconstituted materials from slate stone waste and their application in new construction products. Innova Chile, code 15IPPID-45667. Associated company, Piedras del Sur. October 2015-October 2017.

Biodegradable products made from macroalgal biomass, their application and technical-economic validation for the agricultural sector. Innova Chile, code 15VEIID-45697. Associated companies, INDUPLAS Ltda., Solquim Ltda., Terranatur Ltda. November 2015-November 2017.

Development of antimicrobial polymeric materials with nanostructures for the prevention of hospital-acquired infections. Fondef, code: D11-I-1210. Associated companies, Comercial Madeleine Margot Cespedes Leon E.I.R.L, Sylex Ltda. Executed together with CIPA. January 2013 – January 2016.

Development of biodegradable antimicrobial nanocomposites to be applied in the agricultural industry and export food packaging. Conicyt, code ACE-05. Associated companies, Company: Proyectos Plásticos EIRL. Executed together with INTI (Argentina), CIPA. March 2012 – September 2015.

Development of biodegradable active packaging and its application in the food packaging sector for export products. Fondef, code D11-I-1197. Associated companies, Exportadora Campo Frut Ltda., Induplas S.A., Proyectos Plásticos EIRL. March 2013 – March 2016.

Biodegradable thermoformed containers and inhibitors of phytopathogenic microorganisms and saprophytes. Fondef Idea, code CA12-I-10307. Associated companies, Ultrapac Sudamérica S.A, Agrícola, Ganadera Río Caro Ltda. March 2013 – March 2015.

Development of biodegradable capsules to be used in artificial seeds of Pinus radiata. Innova Chile, code: 13IDL2-23475. Associated companies, Mininco S.A, Proyectos Plásticos Andrés Valdivia E.I.R.L. January 2014 – December 2016.

Development of foamed anti-fungal and biodegradable sleevits (SAB) for the protection of export apples and pears. Innova Chile, code 13IDL2-18275. Associated companies, Exportadora Campofrut Ltda., Moraga Rojas y Compañía Ltda., Proyectos Plásticos EIRL, Terra Natur S.A. January 2014 – June 2016.

Attracting Advanced Human Capital Abroad (MEC) for the strengthening of R&D and teaching capacities in the eco-friendly synthesis of nanoparticles and nanostructured metal oxides. Conicyt, code 222927. Associated companies, Exportadora Campofrut Ltda., Moraga Rojas y Compañía Ltda., Proyectos Plásticos EIRL, Terra Natur S.A. April 2015 – January 2017.

Development of a wind turbine based on flexible piezoelectric materials for the generation of non-conventional renewable energy (NCRE). Innova Chile, code 15IPPID-45708. Partner company, Bascuñan Maccioni e Ingenieros Asociados LTDA. January 2016 – December 2016.

Solar photoreactor for the treatment of contaminated waters of rural sectors and their use for human consumption. Energy Access Fund, Ministry of Energy, FAE 829. January 2016 – March 2017.

Insertion of human capital in Empresa de Servicios Tecnológicos Ltda. to strengthen research and innovation capacity in the areas of photocatalysis and solar technology. Conicyt, code I7816010008. Partner company, EST Ltda. December 2016 – December 2018.

Development of elastomers with better mechanical and abrasive wear resistance properties, through reinforcement and control of vulcanization kinetics to be applied in the mining industry. Fondef Idea, code ID14-I-10437. March 2015 – March 2017.

Production and validation of biodegradable clamshell containers for packaging and transportation of export fruits. Conicyt, code 80150051. Partner companies, Petroquim S.A.; Ultrapac Sudamérica S.A.; Agrícola y Ganadera Río Cato Ltda. September 2014 – December 2016.

Development of antimicrobial polymeric materials with nanostructures for the prevention of hospital-acquired infections. Fondef: D11-I-1210. Partner companies Comercial Madeleine Margot Céspedes León E.I.R.L and Sylex Ltda. January 2013 – january 2016.

Development of antimicrobial biodegradable nanocomposites to be used in the agricultural industry and export food packaging. Conicyt ACE-05. Partner companies Proyectos Plásticos Ltda. and INTI (Argentina). March 2012 – march 2015.

Development of active biodegradable packaging and its application in the field of food packaging for export products. Fondef D11-I-1197. Partner companies Exportadora Campofrut, Induplast and Proyectos Plásticos Ltda. March 2013 – march 2016.

Biodegradable thermoformed containers and inhibitors of pathogenic microorganisms and saprophytes. Fondef Idea CA12-I-10307. Partner companies Ultrapac Sudamérica S.A and Agrícola y Ganadera Río Caro Ltda. March 2013 – march 2015.

Development of biodegradable thermoplastic materials from macroalgal biomass. Fondef: D10-I-1158 (project executed together with the Chemical Products Department). Partner companies Fame Ltda., Agasur Ltda., Proyectos Plásticos Ltda., Plásticos Bessalles Ltda. January 2012 – december 2014.

Development of biodegradable capsules to be used in artificial seeds from pinus radiata. Innova Chile 13IDL2-23475. Partner companies Mininco S.A, Proyectos Plásticos Andrés Valdivia E.I.R.L. January 2014 – december 2016.

Development of food packaging with active/passive barrier properties based on thermoplastic nanocomposites. Fondef D10I1234. Partner companies Petroquim S.A. and Montesa Ltda. January 2012 – december 2014.

Diagnosis and strategies for the management of plastic waste in Chile. Innova Chile: 11BPC-10107. Partner institutions Ministry of Environment and ASIPLA A.G. January 2012 – january 2014.

Development of antifungal and biodegradable sleevits (SAB) for the protection of export apples and pears. Innova Chile 13IDL2-18275. Partner companies Campo Frut Ltda., Moraga Rojas y Compañía Ltda., Proyectos Plásticos E.I.R.L. and Terra Natur S.A. January 2014 – june 2016.

Packaging and technology transfer for the production of forest biodegradable containers. Innova Chile 12IDL4-13686 (project executed together with the Technology Management Department). Partner company Proyectos Plásticos Ltda. December 2012 – december 2013.

Packaging and technology transfer of the production of thermoplastic nanoclay compounds as new raw materials. Innova Chile 11IDL4-10749 (project executed together with the Technology Management Department). Partner company Petroquim. December 2011 – december 2013.

Continuity of the research center for advanced polymers (CIPA). Conicyt Creating regional research centers, R08C1002. Partner companies Universidad del Bío Bío and Regional Government. January 2010 – december 2014.

Developing biodegradable capsules to be used in artificial pinus radiata seeds. Innova Chile 12-I-DL1-13238. Partner company Forestal Mininco S.A. January 2013 – march 2013.

Biodegradable starch-based materials to be used in the national agrobusiness. Fondef D09-I-1195. Partner companies. Proyectos Plásticos Ltda., Industrial Comercial e Inversiones La Bolsa Ltda., Exportadora Campofrut Ltda.,  Agricola forestal y Ganadera Jaime Perello. January 2013 – march 2014.

Development of a bioplastic material from tomato skin waste and its application in the packaging industry. Innova Chile 12IDL1-16114. January 2013 – july 2013.

Research Center for Advanced Polymers CONTINUITY (CIPA). Conicyt R08C1002: Creation of Regional Centers. Together with Universidad del Bío and the Regional Government. January 2010 – december 2014.

Research Center for Advanced Polymers STRENGTHENING (CIPA). Conicyt R06F1005. Together with Universidad del Bío and the Regional Government. Implementation Period January 2008 – August 2011.

Development of food packaging with active/passive barrier properties based on thermoplastic nanocomposites; FONDEF: D10I1234. Together with Petroquim S.A., and Montesa Ltda. January 2012 – December 2014.

Development of biodegradable composite materials and their application in high- value commercial products; FONDEF: D06I1084. Together with Termomatrices Ltda., Forestales Mininco S.A., EST Ltda. December 2007 – March 2011.

Development of biodegradable thermoplastic materials from pehuén with applications in the agro-industry; UDT Internal Project Thesis Fund PFT-043; Together with Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de Concepción; June 2010 – June 2012.

Development of biodegradable thermoplastic materials from macroalgal biomass; FONDEF: D10I1158. Together with FamE Ltda, Agasur Ltda., Proyectos Plásticos Ltda. and Plásticos Bessalles Ltda. January 2012 – December 2014.

Development of biodegradable antimicrobial nanocomposites to be used in the agricultural and food packaging industry. Conicyt: ACE-05. Together with Proyectos Plásticos Ltda. and INTI (Argentina). March 2012 – March 2015.

Diagnosis and strategies for the comprehensive management of plastic waste in Chile; Innova Chile: 11BPC-10107. Together with the Ministry of Environment and ASIPLA A.G. January 2012 – January 2014.

Packaging and production technology transfer of thermoplastic nanoclay compounds as new raw material. Innova Chile: 11IDL4-10749; Together with Petroquim S.A. December 2011 – December 2012.

Packaging and technology transfer for the production of biodegradable forest containers. Innova Chile: 12IDL4-13686 (Project executed together with the Technology Management Department); Together with Proyectos Plásticos Ltda; December 2012 – December 2013.

Biodegradable thermoplastic packaging for the national fruit industry; FONDEF: D08I1191; Together with Petroquím S.A., Integrity S.A. and Agrícola y Ganadera Río Cato Ltda. January 2010 – January 2012.

Evaluation of the development of a composite material to improve the energy efficiency in homes; Innova Chile: 11IDL1-10550. January 2012 – July 2012.

Development and applications of new thermoplastic nanocomposites. Fondef D05I10383. Together with the Faculty of Chemical Sciences, Universidad de Concepción, Center for Advanced Polymer Research (CIPA), Petroquim S.A., Fosko S.A. and Termomatrices Ltda. January 2007 – November 2010.

Development of innovative composite materials based on forest byproducts. Conicyt, International Cooperation. Together with BMBF, Umsicht. November 2007 – June 2009.

Development of biodegradable composite materials and their application in high-value commercial products. Fondef D06I1084.

Pre-competitive R&D, Conicyt/ Conciencias exchange Project. Together with Termomatrices Ltda., Forestales Mininco S.A. y EST Ltda. December 2007 – March 2011.

Product development of economic and commercial interest for the Aysen Region from plastic and wood waste. Innova Chile, Business. Together with Centre for Advanced Polymer Research (CIPA), Rexin Ltda. March 2008 – June 2009.

Development of antifouling salmon networks of low environmental impact, from a polymeric material based on copper nano composites. Innova Chile, Business. Together with Center for Advanced Polymer Research (CIPA) Associates: EST Ltda. April 2008 – April 2010.

Development of construction technology for long useful life port infrastructure. Innova Chile, pre-competitive R&D. Together with Center for Advanced Polymer Research (CIPA) and Empresa Portuaria Talcahuano – San Vicente S.A. July 2008 – May 2011.

Experimental and computer analysis of the surface chemistry of carbons derived from forest biomass. CCTE-UDT, Internal R&D. Together with the Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de Concepción. August 2008 – February 2009.

Computer analysis of product selectivity in the gasification of biomass. CCTE-UDT, Internal R&D. Together with the Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de Concepción. October 2008 – March 2010.

Obtaining of granular activated carbon with mesoporosity development and chemical functionality to organic matter retention processes. CCTE-UDT, internal R&D. Together with the Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de Concepción. Octubre 2008 – marzo 2010.

Hydroponic channels based on bioplastic composites with agricultural waste. Conicyt, International Cooperation. Together with CIDEMCO (Basque Country, Spain), TECUS (Barcelona, Spain). October 2008 – October 2010.

Evaluation of external markets for the commercialization of technologies and products from wood-plastic composite materials. CCTE-UDT, internal R&D. Together with the Ecole Supérieure du Bois, Nantes (France). March 2009 – August 2009 .

Optimization of the extrusion process for the preparation of thermoplastic nanocomposites. CCTE-UDT, internal R&D. Together with the Faculty of Engineering, University of Karlsruhe. October 2009 – March 2010.

Biodegradable thermoplastic containers for the national fruit industry. Fondef D08I1191, precompetitive. Together with the Center for Advanced Polymer Research (CIPA) , Petroquím S.A., Integrity S.A., and Agrícola y Ganadera Río Cato Ltda. January 2010 – January 2012.

Center for Advanced Polymer Research (CIPA). Conicyt, Creation of Regional Units for Scientific and Technological Development. Together with Conicyt, Universidad de Concepción, Universidad del Bío Bío, and Regional Government. January 2010 – December 2014.

Effect of the addition of sodium sulfite in the alkaline extraction of high molecular weight hemicelluloses from Eucalyptus globulus for the production of biofilms. CCTE-UDT, Internal R&D. Together with Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de Concepción. June 2010 to March 2011.

Computer simulation of the reactivity of carbon nanomaterials in the presence of Stone-Wales type defects. CCTE-UDT, internal R&D. Together with Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de Concepción. June 2010 to March 2011.

Reactive extrusion development of thermoplastic materials based on modified starches. CCTE-UDT, internal R&D. Together with Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de Concepción. August 2010 to January 2011.

Technology for obtainment and use of radiate- pine bark extracts. Innova Bio Bio. Together with Resinas del Bio Bio S.A. May 2006 to april 2007.

Profile development from engineered wood by reactive extrusion process. Fondef D04 I1176. Together with Corza S.A., CMPC Maderas S.A. and Resinas del Bio Bio S.A. April 2006 to march 2008.

Development and application of new thermoplastic nanocomposites. Fondef D05 I10383. Together with Petroquim S.A., Fosko S.A. and Termomatrices Ltda. January 2007 to january 2010.

Development of environmentally friendly antifouling salmon nets from polymeric material based on cooper nanocomposites. INNOVA CHILE. Together with Empresa de Servicios Tecnológicos Ltda. January 2008 to july 2010.

Product portfolio for investing in wood- plastic composite pellet plant. Innova Bío – Bío. Together with Isesa S.A. and Agrícola y Forestal Oriana Ltda. June 2005 to july 2007.

Development of biodegradable composites and their applications in highly commercially valued products. Fondef D06 I1084. Together with Termomatrices Ltda, Forestal Mininco and Empresa de Servicios Tecnológicos Ltda. January 2007 to january 2006.

Development of inexpensive and commercially interesting products from wood and plastic waste existing in Aysén Región. CORFO Innova Chile. Together with Rexin S.A. January 2008 to july 2009.

Development of technology for constructing port infrastructure of long life. CORFO Innova Chile. Together with Empresa Portuaria Talcahuano San Vicente and Petroquim S.A. July 2008 to july 2010.

Álvaro Maldonado, Head of Biomaterials Department
a.maldonado(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1814

Lines of research:

  • Extrusion and injection of wood-plastic composites.
  • Biodegradable plastics for various industrial applications.
  • Thermoplastic nanocomposites with active properties.
PUBLICATIONS

Prof. Ljubisa Radovic, Principal Researcher, Biomaterials Department
lradovic(at)udec.cl / +56 41 220 3654

Lines of research:

  • Properties and applications of carbonaceous (bio)materials.
  • Sustainable use of fossil fuels.
  • Surface chemistry of graphenes.
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Prof. Carolina Gómez, Associate Researcher, Biomaterials Department

PUBLICATIONS

Prof. Ramalinga Mangalaraja, Associate Researcher, Biomaterials Department

Dr. Saddys Rodríguez, Associate Researcher, Biomaterials Department
saddysrodriguez(at)udec.cl / +56 41 220 1216

Lines of research:

  • Biodegradable polymer nanocomposites.
  • Synthetic polymeric nanocomposites with medical applications.
  • Films based on natural polymers and active plant extracts with sleep-cosmetic applications.
  • Essential micronutrients encapsulated in natural polymers to be used as dietary supplements.
PUBLICATIONS

Dr. Aleksandra Nešić, Researcher, Biomaterials Department
a.nesic(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1838

Juan Carlos Carrasco Prado, Project Engineer, Biomaterials Department
j.carrascop(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1806

Lines of research:

  • Biodegradable compounds.
  • Biodegradable additives and masterbatch.
  • Biodegradable plastics with functional properties.
PUBLICATIONS

Dr. Cristian Miranda, Project Engineer, Biomaterials Department
c.miranda(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1818

Lines of research:

  • Thermoplastic nanocomposites.
  • Antimicrobial polymers.
  • Polymers with photocatalytic activity.
PUBLICATIONS

Dr. Patricia Castaño, Project Engineer, Biomaterials Department
p.castano(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1867

PUBLICATIONS

Isabel Calle, Project Engineer, Biomaterials Department
i.calle(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1834

Néstor Urra, Project Engineer, Biomaterials Department
n.urra(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1868

Lines of research:

  • Development of biomaterials from biodegradable resins.
  • Development of biodegradable products to be used in the forest industry.
  • Development of biodegradable materials to be used in the agricultural industry.

Catalina Castillo, Project Engineer, Biomaterials Department
c.castillo(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1812

Felipe Sanhueza, Project Engineer, Biomaterials Department
f.sanhueza(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1812

Carolina Olivari, Engineer, Head of Pilot Plants, Biomaterials Department
c.olivari(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1840

Lines of work:

  • Head of Pilot Plants, Biomaterials Department.
    • Transformation processes of thermoplastic materials, such as:
    • Extrusion or composite materials.
    • Blow extrusion.
    • Injection.

Giovanni Ponce, Engineer, Biomaterials Department
g.ponce(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1902

Carmen Pradenas, Chemical Analyst, Head of Thermoplastic Materials Laboratory, Biomaterials Department
c.pradenas(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1824

Lines of work:

  • Head of Thermoplastic Materials Laboratory.
    • Development of thermoplastic compounds.
    • Thermal analysis by TGA- DSC polymers.
    • Capillary rheology and polymer rheometry.

Johana Sanzana, Químico Analista Área Biomateriales, Biomaterials Department
j.sanzana(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1823

Lines of work:

  • Head of Biomaterials Laboratory.
    • Biodegradable plastics.
    • Thermoplastic nanocomposites.
    • Composite materials.

Susana Castillo, Chemical Analyst, Biomaterials Department
s.castillo(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1823

Lines of work:

  • Biodegradable plastics.
  • Thermoplastic nanocomposites.
  • Composite materials.

Karen Galvez, Chemical Analyst, Biomaterials Department
k.galvez(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1824

Jordan Jofré, Operator, Biomaterials Department
j.jofre(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1811

Gastón Alarcón, Operator, Biomaterials Department
g.alarcon(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1811

UDT PUBLICATIONS
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CONTACT

Álvaro Maldonado, Head of Biomaterials Department

a.maldonado(at)udt.cl / +56 41 266 1814