International Joint Research Project (PICS)

2019 – 2021

Madagascar

© CNRS

Context

The management and recovery of organic materials identified today as waste represent a key issue in a context of large agro-industrial activity, the focus on water quality and the development of renewable resources of natural origin.

Modern societies use a wide variety of chemicals on a daily basis, from common plastics to drugs of very complex structures, that are considered indispensable. Meanwhile, populations are becoming more aware about their issues and no longer accept pollution and accidents linked to chemical manipulations.

Chemistry is thus changing, creating new concepts and new processes which participate in reaching the sustainable development goals. Green chemistry develops methods that are more respectful of the environment, either from petroleum-based raw materials or from bio-based compounds.

Africa in general and Madagascar in particular has a large supply of organic materials and waste, coming mainly from the fruit industry. Madagascar does not have a developed chemical industry and it imports most of its drugs but also a large number of compounds and active ingredients in special chemicals (surfactants, cosmetics, paints, pesticides, dyes, polymers, etc.).

Simultaneously, European manufacturers in these sectors look for bio-sourced alternatives to ingredients produced from fossil materials. Madagascar has an important agriculture (> 70% of the population). The growth potential of the Malagasy agricultural sector is also very important due to the availability of agricultural land and the abundance of water. It is therefore a great possibility to reuse agricultural by-products for special chemicals. The incorporation of products from biomass in special chemicals has a positive impact for both users and the environment.

 

Objectives

The project includes 3 research themes linked to the Malagasy specificity and the wish to enhance the impact of the research carried out in Madagascar:

  • "Chemical ecology" as an alternative to insecticides
  • "Green chemistry" and "industrial ecology", focused on the recovery of Madagascan biomass (cassava, Mauritius hemp) and waste from the fruit industry (mango, cashew nuts, etc.)
  • The search for bioactive molecules from Malagasy biodiversity.

This PICS supports the International Associated Laboratory “Study and recovery of the Malagasy biodiversity”, created in 2011 by the University of Antananarivo and the University of Lyon 1, and renewed in 2015 and 2019.

 

Partners

Scientific coordination: Estelle Metay, Institute for Molecular and Supramolecular Chemistry and Biochemistry

 

Funding

National Chemistry Institute, CNRS