World Changing Ideas Award 2024 HKRITA

2024 World Changing Ideas Awards - Finalist (Materials)

Awarded Project: Turning beverage and fruit waste into biocellulose textile fibers

Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards honour products, concepts, companies, and policies that are designed to make the world safer, cleaner, more sustainable, and more equitable.

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This project has developed a novel solvent system and spinning method to produce regenerated cellulose fibres out of sustainable bacterial cellulose (BC) fermented from kombucha (a fermented sweetened black tea). Kombucha bacterial cellulose (KBC) as a byproduct from fermented tea has high degrees of purity and polymerisation, and can be utilised as an alternative source for sustainable cellulose fibre production with improved energy efficiency. The advantages for this source are their fast growth rate and without the use of pesticide, copious amount of water and polluting chemical process. 

The objectives of this project are:

  1. To prepare regenerated cellulose fibre from the bacterial cellulose
  2. To study the process parameter for the growth of bacterial cellulose and find out the optimised condition
  3. To develop solvent systems for dissolving bacterial cellulose efficiently
  4. To study the process parameter for the wet spinning of regenerated bacterial cellulose fibre and find out the optimised condition

It is expected that the outcomes of this project can provide a know-how from bacterial cellulose cultivation to BC-based regenerated cellulose fibres.