Production of Biodegradable Fibres from Food Waste through Electrospinning and Their Prospective Medical Applications: An Emerging Method for Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic

Md Ariful Haque, Sik Chun Johnny Lo, Jin Hua Mou, Anshu Priya, Zi Hao Qin, Zubeen Jyotiwadan Hathi, Chrysanthi Pateraki, Dimitris Ladakis, Apostolis Koutinas, Chenyu Du, Carol Sze Ki Lin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Food waste valorisation through the manufacture of value-added products has been studied for nearly a decade in many parts of the world. Despite the prevalence of recent studies, increasing food waste remains a problem. The transformation of food waste into useful products could be harnessed to tackle the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The current method of extracting nutrients from wasted food and facilitating their utilisation by microbes generates various platform chemicals and fuels, such as succinic acid, lactic acid, ethanol and hydrogen, and polymers, such as homopolymer polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), copolymer poly(3- hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV), and polylactic acid (PLA). A thorough review of scientific articles and reports on food wastebased biopolymer production and its possible applications in combating the COVID-19 pandemic is presented in this chapter. The key microbes used to produce either biopolymers or their building blocks are Haloferax mediterranei, Cupravidus necator, and Lactobacillus casei Shirota. The biopolymers and components derived from these microbes can be used to produce green, biodegradable, non-woven fabrics. The flexibility and biodegradability of these biopolymers also make them suitable for applications in the medical sector. Through the process of electrospinning, such fabrics can be used to produce biodegradable personal protective equipment (PPE) and, thereby, combat COVID-19 sustainably. The implementation of food waste valorisation helps not only in managing waste and reducing environmental pollution but also in generating resources, such as medical textiles, that can meet long-term sustainable development goals on a large scale.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFood Waste Valorisation
Subtitle of host publicationFood, Feed, Fertiliser, Fuel and Value-Added Products
EditorsMing Hung Wong, Diane Purchase, Nicholas Dickinson
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781800612891, 9781800612907
ISBN (Print)9781800612884
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023

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