You probably heard that almost everything can be made from oil. And that is right to a certain degree. Crude oil is the main source of the chemical building blocks we need to make the products we use daily. With the right tools in our chemical toolbox, chemists like me can transform these chemical building blocks into the ingredients of for example cosmetics, prescribed drugs or other thing we use daily. However, the most important source of these building blocks, oil, will run out eventually. Luckily, we can now make similar building blocks out of plant based waste, like this banana peel. However, the building blocks from this are just a bit different, making it hard to use with our current tools. In my research, I get inspiration from nature. To perform some particularly hard tasks, Nature uses tools where two metal atoms work together to make and break chemical bonds. By understanding this concept and imitating it, we can develop new tools for the building block of the future. Doing this, our daily consumables will still be available, even if there is no more crude oil.

Utrecht University

Oil is an important raw material for many products, but unfortunately it is not very sustainable. There are alternatives where plant based waste serves as a raw material, but this requires a different chemical approach. That is why Danny is researching possibilities to use tricks from nature so that we no longer need oil.

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