Videos and Articles
Sudeep Motupalli Rao
SlowTech Labs' founder Sudeep speaks to students at Sonoma State University.
Sudeep Rao speaks at Slow Factory's Study Hall in London
An interview in Riposte Magazine:
Sudeep Motupalli Rao, PhD, Chief Scientist,
Intrinsic Advanced Materials
CiCLO meaning “cycle” is a biomimetic technology designed to eliminate microfiber pollution in oceans and unrecycled textiles in landfills. Synthetic materials like polyester or nylon offer great technical performance as textiles, but that same property makes them persistent and refractory in the environment. They will remain unchanged for centuries if not more.
The old model of what was thought of as good was “cradle to grave,” which suggested a comprehensive outlook. But designing materials for the grave, i.e. landfill is really bad design. Circularity is inspired by nature where there is no waste. Architect William
McDonough and German chemist Michael Braungart developed the cradle-to-cradle (C2C) framework, calling for ecologically intelligent design. Materials that are technical nutrients can be recycled and kept in the loop while biodegradable materials can be broken up by living systems including microbes.
The challenge is that 99% of textiles end up in landfills and a lot of plastic microfibres originate in textiles. With CiCLO, these fugitive plastics in the landfills and the oceans can be broken down to either extract energy from them or eliminate the pollution.
Nature and living systems have been doing R&D experiments for about 4 billion years. Nature has crafted and evolved into a system that works beautifully. However, we’re incarcerating our textiles in our landfills, like we are discarding and disposing of people in jails. CiCLO mimics nature’s mechanisms to break down materials. With CiCLO, we are liberating molecules so they are part of a new life. We are providing a new karmic cycle for these landfill materials. In the oceans, we’re taking pollution away by bioremediating it.
It has become crystal clear that we are impacting our environment on a geological time scale where 10,000 years is the smallest unit of measurement. We are seeing the landfill not as a wasteland for centuries but as a resource. That’s a lot of chemical energy that could be utilized. With CiCLO we leverage microbes to convert that colossal waste into energy.
Inspirations and pioneers in Slow Tech
Janine Benyus, pioneer of biomimetic design and founder of biomimicry.net explains what biomimicry is in this popular TED talk.