The Biozero project was among the group of finalists of the second call for allocation of competitive funds from the North HUB, organized by the Secretary of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (Senescyt), whose objective is to identify and promote innovation projects and technological development generated by the Higher Education Institutions (IES), public and private companies of the North HUB.
This project, conceived by the Ikiam and San Francisco de Quito universities, stood out on July 6 for its innovation in creating a renewable nanocellulose membrane for the filtration of viruses in water.
“(The project) is led by Yanet Villasana Ph. D-Ikiam, with the collaboration of Lourdes Orejuela Ph. D-USFQ and the student Fernando Zambrano from Ikiam’s Biotechnology degree. It is a proposal for a filtration membrane that eliminates viruses, bacteria in water made up of cellulose nanocomposite obtained from cocoa residues, “is detailed in a press release.
This idea gave academic institutions access to a seed capital of $ 10,000. This sum seeks to develop a low-cost methodology that uses the residual biomass available in the Amazon region, Ikiam’s area of influence, for the elaboration of A water filter that allows viruses and bacteria to be eliminated using the principles of green chemistry, stands out in communication.
The promoters of this initiative took into account that one of the main agricultural activities in that region is the planting and harvesting of cocoa, which can generate a large amount of waste, especially the cocoa shell (residual biomass).
This scientific achievement opens the door to an effective preventive measure against potential pathogens such as E. coli and viruses such as influenza, papilloma, adenovirus and poliovirus , which could affect indigenous communities.
Ikiam also stood out with his Smartlix project, which obtained first place and was led by Andrea Salgado, his collaborators Miguel Robledo, Marco Abril, Miguel Quishpe and by students Pablo Guerra and Andrea Soria from the Biotechnology degree. “The project proposes the intelligent and sustainable treatment of leachates through an automated biological contact reactor (RBC) . With this system, the process of removing contaminants is optimized, even allowing us to reuse treated water, ”explains the Amazon University. (I)