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Kitchen bio-waste sensors

8. 7. 2024 | 390 visits

The agro-food industry produces a large amount of biowaste generated during production and processing in production and subsequently in the gastro industry and households. Scientists from the Slovak Academy of Sciences and the Slovak University of Technology are presenting research, the essence of which is the use of kitchen waste in (bio)sensory applications for early detection of civilization diseases. By applying various physical and chemical treatments and activation methods, agro-food waste is transformed into carbonized biomass - "biochar".

 "Biochar belongs to materials that are used to modify screen-printed carbon electrochemical sensors (SPCE), mainly due to properties such as electrical conductivity, high surface porosity, the presence of functional groups with different surface charges, and high absorption capacity. Its advantage lies in the possibility of simple preparation from renewable biomass," says Alenka Opálková Šišková of the Institute of Materials and Machine Mechanics SAS.

Biochar-modified sensors were successfully used in the electrochemical detection of heavy metals, pesticides, residues of veterinary drugs, or various biomolecules, such as glucose, vitamin C or dopamine. The application potential of the proposed innovative solution is comparable in sensitivity to that of commercially used sensors for the detection of civilization diseases. There is currently no commercially available printed sensor that uses a biochar type of carbon material.

"Sensors made using the aforementioned type of carbonaceous material are suitable for the detection of various target analytes/biomolecules at a very low concentration level with high sensitivity and selectivity. It is a complex solution that begins with the use of kitchen waste as an input material, through the development of printing composite dispersions, to the mass production printing of sensors," adds the scientist.

Scientists from the Institute of Materials and Machine Mechanics SAS, Institute of Chemistry SAS and the Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology work together on the project. A national (Slovak) patent application PP 50073-2023 has been filed for the presented innovative system.

Edited by Monika Tináková

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