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May 18, 2022

Imperial students find innovative new use for lobster shell waste

Posted by in categories: chemistry, engineering, sustainability

The four students are studying Innovation Design Engineering, a course delivered jointly by Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. They have built a series of machines that extract, form and recycle the material, which they believe could be used as a replacement for various single-use plastics.

The project uses chitin, the world’s second most abundant biopolymer, (a naturally produced plastic). Chitin is found in crustaceans, insects and fungi, but needs to be chemically extracted from the source before it can be turned into the material.


The group of students have developed new manufacturing processes to transform lobster shell waste into biodegradable, recyclable bioplastic.

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