Sicily is the Italian region where Kanésis, a really ‘green’ project, was born. Kanèsis is the fusion of two words: ‘canapa’ (‘hemp’ in Italian) and ‘kinesis’ a greek word which means 'movement'. Kanèsis is a start-up made by some young researchers coming from Catania and it develops industrial products derived from nature. In this interview, Giovanni Milazzo, founder of Kanèsis, tells us why we can consider Kanèsis a 'really green’ project.
Hi Giovanni! What’s Kanèsis core business?
Last April I patented a thermoplastic composite material - with properties related to conventional petrochemical plastics - that has tensile modulus which are 30% better than cheaper and ‘traditional’ bioplastics and which is derived from plant waste, including hemp. The material is designed, developed and made in Italy; it is biodegradable, low cost, strong and we set it, among other things, for the application of 3D printing.
How this project started?
I thought about this while I was studying ‘materials’ at University even if my teacher discouraged me. I left Catania for a two months trip to visit some of the most important hemp production centres in Italy and Spain which were active in the early ‘900. During this trip I met some of the leading personalities in this field and when I got back to Sicily I started to applied what I learned experimenting in my kitchen. This was officially the first Kanèsis laboratory. Then I created the first piece of plastic that I took to another professor to show that compounds with hemp would come good.
So Kanèsis sells hemp as a raw material for products of 3D printing?
Actually this is only a small part of our project. The real goal is to give a future to our region, based on sustainability and attention to the environment. Starting from fields we can develop all kind of products useful for several market sectors, from fuels to green building, from biomedical to automotive. We realized special bio-active compounds for the fish and vegetable markets and we are going to set up a trial production of hemp paper here in Catania where we are also developing a special bio-brick for structural use, based on hemp as well.
What are your plans for the future?
In the next three months we will be travelling around Europe to organize some events to launch a crowdfunding campaign consisting in selling a lot of everyday objects made with our biodegradable plastic.
A very special good luck to Kanèsis from all the Treedom folks!