First prize to our PhD student Ilke Uysal Unalan for the best poster in the “Polymer Materials from Renewable Sources and Functional Nanocomposites and Coatings”
On the occasion of the “8th ECNP International Conference on Nanostructured Polymers and Nanocomposites” that has been held in Dresden (Germany) from 16 to 19 September, Ilke Uysal Unalan, our 3rd-year PhD student in Food Science, Technology, and Biotechnology– XXVII° cycle, has received the first prize for the best poster in the “Polymer Materials from Renewable Sources and Functional Nanocomposites and Coatings” session. The awarded work, entitled ‘Polysaccharides-assisted direct exfoliation of graphite into defect-free graphene sheets and fabrication of nanocomposite films thereof’ (authors: Uysal Unalan I., Wan C., Piergiovanni L., Farris S.) comes from the fruitful collaboration between the Food Packaging lab of DeFENS and the University of Warwick, where our student carried out part of her research during the last year within the Erasmus Student Placements programme. This work concerned the development of a new strategy to obtain exfoliated graphene starting from macrosized graphite flakes by a polysaccharide-assisted ultrasonication procedure. The new process, besides allowing to obtain stable graphene water dispersions, represents a ‘green’ alternative to the currently used procedures that involve the use of hazardous chemicals and/or the high energy consumption. The next step of this research will be the development of new materials in the form of coatings intended for food packaging applications.