Bangladeshi scientist develops biodegradable PPE from jute and chitosan

January 24, 2022 |

In Bangladesh, the same scientist behind the popular Sonali jute bag has created biodegradable personal protective equipment using jute and chitosan, a material found in crustacean cells. 

Mubarak Ahmad Khan, scientific adviser to Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, developed the material to help address the massive amount of PPE being produced and discarded amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The material uses cellulose extracted from jute and chitosan, both of which are abundant in Bangladesh. Chitosan was also chosen for its anti-viral properties, Mubarek tells the Daily Star. Extraction and processing are environmentally friendly and cost-effective, he adds. 

Mubarek invented jute polymer and the Sonali bag in 2015 as an alternative to plastic bags in the populous country. The material biodegrades in water within seven days.  “We are going to test this new concept at Shishu Hospital shortly,” he adds. 

According to the Environment and Social Development Organisation, more than 14,000 metric tons of plastic waste was generated in just the first month of the pandemic. 

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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