Two Belgian scientists among finalists for European Inventor Award 2023

Two Belgian scientists have been selected as finalists in the Industry category of the European Inventor Award 2023, the European Patent Office announced on Tuesday.

Michiel Dusselier and Bert Sels, both of KU Leuven, are among 12 finalists chosen from more than 600 applicants worldwide. They were shortlisted for the award based on their aim to make plastic production and consumption patterns more efficient and reduce the environmental impact of plastic production.

To accomplish this, they have moved away from conventional plastics and are focusing on developing an environmentally friendly bioplastic called polylactic acid (PLA).

The two have developed a one-step catalytic process to make PLA without using fossil fuels or toxic chemicals. According to the European Patent Office, the method saves energy and reduces costs, cutting the total cost of producing bioplastics by 30 per cent.

The winners of will be announced at a ceremony in Valencia, Spain, on 4 July.


#FlandersNewsService | Granules from biodegradable and compostable plastic PLA © Thierry Zoccolan / AFP

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