Sustainable Materials - Biopolymers - Circular Economy - Polymer Composites

Ana Isabel Quilez Molina

Condensed matter physics, crystallography and mineralogy Cellular materials group Bioeconomy Institute
My research career

In 2016 I graduated in Chemistry at the University of Malaga, where I worked on the chemical analysis of plant cuticle. A year later, in Granada, I acquired a Master's degree in Chemical Sciences and Technologies, where I worked in a laboratory for the organic synthesis of natural products. Once I finished the Master, I moved to Genoa (Italy), where I did my PhD thesis focused on the development of active and sustainable materials for food packaging, in the "Smart Materials" group, at the Italian Institute of Technology. During the three years of my PhD I gained knowledge in the processing and characterisation of polymer composites. In addition, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the company "Marzoli" with the aim of manufacturing more environmentally friendly materials using circular economy, such as waste from the textile industry. Furthermore, I worked for 6 months as an industrial post-doc in collaboration with the Italian Mint, in order to obtain multilayer materials with biodegradable polymers on an industrial scale.

In 2021, I started my post-doc position at the University of Valladolid, where I worked on the development of smart materials for the removal of pollutants and functionalisation of foams using green chemistry.

In 2022, I obtained the "Margarita Salas" grant with the University of Valladolid, which foresees a first period of one year at the "Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques" in Bordeaux (France), to then do the second year at UVa, and which aims to develop new materials with wood derivatives with multiple applications in various fields.

My research

My study is based on obtaining active polymeric materials with a wide variety of applications, such as water treatment or food packaging, using different processing techniques (e.g., extrusion, casting, electrospinning), and implementing sustainable methods. One of the major challenges is to enable these materials to compete in terms of cost and properties with current commercial products, and to reduce the high environmental impact of their use and production.

My vision is to continue acquiring knowledge in the area of materials, learning different manufacturing and characterisation techniques, always with the aim of being able to contribute to reducing the numerous environmental problems that affect us today and to have a cleaner world.