Welcome to the STOWURC website
The Sustainable treatment of waste using recycled chitosans (STOWURC) project is aimed at developing sustainable materials and processes that use waste products from the seafood industry to treat effluent and recover metals from the printed circuit board (PCB) and related industries.
The UK PCB industry is strategically important to the country but its chemical processes can generate waste products that are expensive to treat. The shells of crabs and other crustaceans are a source of materials known as chitosans which can absorb metals and have the ability to recover metals found in PCB manufacturing effluent. The UK's seafood industry generates large volumes of shellfish waste and the project is using this waste to produce chitosan-based materials that can sustainably treat the effluent produced by PCB makers and companies producing similar types of metal-bearing waste products.
The project partners have identified international interest in using chitosan based materials from PCB manufacturers. There are also much larger applications in other sectors, including surface engineering. Crab shells are typically expensive to dispose of and this project will enable them to become valuable raw materials.