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Meet the Researcher – Dr Orlando Santoro

  • December 18, 2019
  • By Amy Richardson

Dr Orlando Santoro is a chemist on the ECPE project working on the synthesis of biodegradeable polymers from renewable sources (sugars, plants, agricultural waste). His research with Professor Carl Redshaw focuses on the Ring Opening Polymerization (ROP) of cyclic esters.

After completing his Bachelor and Master degrees in Chemistry at the Università degli Studi di Salerno (Salerno, Italy), Orlando moved to Scotland, where he obtained his PhD from the University of St Andrews.

After a 2-year post-doc at the Université Rennes 1 (Rennes, France) working on the development of improved plastic materials, he moved back to the UK in February 2019 to join the ECPE project at the University of Hull.

I think that the term Biodegradable is often misused. Biodegradable plastics are either seen as a miraculous solution for plastic pollution or as a dangerous throw away and forget about it incentive. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Together with the production of new materials, a common language enabling a constructive dialogue between scientists and customers should be developed. This is one of the aims of Evolving a Circular Plastics Economy.
Dr Orlando Santoro, University of Hull

Orlando works closely with other colleagues in the ECPE, particularly Dr Karen Rodgers to understand the environmental impact of bio-based and biodegradeable plastics. Taking full account of their environmental impact at end of life (WP4) together with making biodegradeable plastics potentially cheaper and less toxic is an important element of the ECPE project.