Greek biologists create paper from bacteria (PHOTOS)

greek biologists bacteria paper

Two Greek biologists, Panagiotis Dimitriou and  Giorgos Zochios, have revolutionarily created paper from bacteria.

Panagiotis Dimitriou from Chalkida, who is continuing his studies and is a student of Medicine at the University of Ioannina, and Giorgos Zochios, from Santorini who is doing a master’s degree in Biotechnology at the EKPA, were looking for an environmentally friendly way to create paper.

Panagiotis Dimitriou and Giorgos ZochiosSpeaking to AMNA, Panagiotis Dimitriou referred to the searches and concerns for the protection of the environment.

“With Giorgos Zochios, we met as students at the Athens Uni Biology department. We were fellow students for 2 years. We immediately became friends and spent our time experimenting," he said.

"At some point, we sat down and thought, about how many trees are felled for paper, which we all use, and we thought of finding a more environmentally friendly way. Then Giorgos came up with the idea to use bacteria," Zochios added.

He pointed out that forests are being destroyed for the production of paper, saying: “We all know how important paper is in our daily lives. What we don’t know, however, is how many trees are cut down to create it.

"A kilo of paper requires 3 times its weight in trees. Imagine, that for Greece alone, this means that a forest 10 times the size of Mount Parnitha is cut down every year. Today about 15 billion trees are cut down or burned every year and of those, only 5 billion are replanted or regrown on their own.

"Thus, every year it is estimated that there is a net loss of 10 billion trees and the forest wealth of the Earth is reduced by approximately 0.3%.”

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The experiments began at the house of Giorgos Zohios in Athens.

As Mr. Dimitriou explains, in “general terms in simple words, the process is as follows: We grow the bacteria in a container, in a suitable nutrient material and they produce a mixture which contains cellulose fibers.

"We collect these fibers, clean them of cellular debris, and add materials that determine the color and texture. We let them dry so we can get paper, the same as what we use every day.”

Panagiotis Dimitriou and George Zochios, participate as a team in the 1st Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition. In fact, they have reached the final stage, being one of the ten final teams.

Two years ago, Panagiotis and Giorgos created TrueMed, a scientific health writing group, in which students can write articles based on valid sources. Already within two years, more than 100 students have written articles aimed at validly informing the world about health issues.

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