Human Practices & Integrated HP
We are located in Macau, which is a city crowded with casinos and resorts. In considering the possible improvement for fire initiation, we decided to develop fire proteins to provide more protection for the fire safety of the local tourism industry. As all of our awareness were based on data query, approaches to related industries and organizations would be essential to determine a project's position in the industry, its practical application, and additional flaws.
Hotel Industry Application (Representation: Wynn Macau)
We visited Wynn Macau, a luxury hotel and resort owned by the international corporation Wynn Resorts Limited. With Wynn’s well-known experiences, we have obtained the state-of-art flame retardant application and requirement in the hotel and entertainment industry and obtained hotel-use material with no fire retardant applied for our experiment.
The Importance of Fire retardation and its toxicity
We learned from the Wynn that fire safety is becoming more critical within the hospitality industry. Through their expanding business, there lines a greater responsibility towards their guests and staff. In an attempt to apply our future flame retardant product in the hotel industry, Wynn has advised us to consider the potential toxicity of our choose new flame retardant product.
==>>Since we don't have any resource to test for toxicity, we have switched our primary focus from the newly found highest nitrogen containing bacterial protein - Q8MP30, based on our designed model, to new flame retardant from human and mammal proteins, and selected the SR protein that is identical to one of Mingdao 2015 iGEM team’s BioBricks.
Wynn also concern the duration of flame retardant would last on our target material. The actual length of time in which the flame retardant treatment remains effective will vary based on the number of times the item is cleaned and the environmental conditions in the location, and the function would decline over time. Typically, the flame retardancy of topically treated fabric is certified for one year. Therefore, the Wynn maintenance department has to spray fire retardant every two years to reduce flammability.
==>>In consideration of the effectiveness and duration of our flame retardant product, we have fused adhesive protein to our chosen flame retardant aimed to increase the initial effect and overall lifetime of the treated material. Since fabrics material and wood furniture are common household material and frequently used in hotel industry, we have chosen cellulose binding domain (CBD) and mussel adhesive proteins (mfp5) as our adhesive components, with the first one would provide efficient binding onto fabrics and the second one suggested to provide good water-resistant adhesive property.
Product’s targeted standard
Presence of standardized tests is a spotlight that enables us to examine the effect and ability of our flame retardant product on different applied material. According to Wynn, their demand for fire retardants are strictly following standards of FSD, and NFPA, and IDC (requirements according to the American and European standard). With that information, we aware need to know more about the requirement of different standard test and equipment.
Provide test sample
As a hotel, Wynn had provided us with the bedsheet sample and the wood block for our fire test. We had used the bedsheet sample to perform a vertical fire test and gave the wood blocks to IDQ for the standardized fire test to verify the fire retardancy of our fire retardant protein. In addition to this, we also used the bedsheet sample to perform the adhesion test.
Interesting idea about recycling food waste to feed bacteria was raised from our education events with students. This inspired us to consider recycling material from waste and further engineer them into flame retardant.
==>>Our team discovered from literature that caesin protein was previously proposed to be a potential phosphate-containing flame retardant, and found in milk and cheese products. In consideration of the massive amount of food waste and expired milk product, extraction of high-value components from food waste, such as caesin protein would be achievable and be recycled for our product. However, our team is without appropriate resources to extract enough caesin protein from expired products and food waste for flame retardancy testing. Therefore, we developed caesin producing recombinant E.coli strain using the BioBrick from 2019 Duesseldorf team's synthetic cheese and milk project.
Government Policy (Representative: Fire Services Bureau)
In order to confirm the policy of the flame retardant regulation in Macau, we visited the Macau Fire Service Bureau. And from our interview, we understood that city with a high population density would have a higher risk of fire incidents. Macau is one of the highest density city in the world and therefore always under threat. However, our fire prevention regulation was legislated in 1995 (fire prevention standards 24/95m) and does not have an up-to-date requirement over fire-resistant materials. Since such Macau local standard was legislated under the former Portugal-Macanese government, some of the requirement is following the British Standard 476-1971; or the Portuguese NP standard; with a rating scale of 5 categories that define the fire resistance of materials according to the French Standards. Therefore, they have validated our project would raise awareness of fire incidents to the Macau local society and have a positive impact.
==>> Through the visit, we confirmed our needed support for the fire testing methods.
Local Testing Centre (Institute for Development and Quality of Macau (IDQ))
Macao Institute of Development and Quality is a non-profit organization of engineering science and technology, and provide a full range of services for research, testing, training, and quality of engineering projects in Macao . During our visit, IDQ shared with us their fire-retardancy testing procedure and agreed to provide testing free of charge. The key points of measurement are listed below:
1) Examination of humidity and temperature as the variable of the model is applied for testing.
2) The potential effect of processing furniture on fire retardancy material.
3) Drying of samples prior to doing the fire testing at 60c, for 24 hours
4) Measurement of the heat amplitude and length during fire testing performed on a bed, furniture, carpet, etc.
5) Inclusion of control sample (curtain without protein) from a hotel for the experiment.
However, due to the impact of COVID19 and the summer storm season, we had delayed our experiment plan to generate a new flame retardant protein.
==>>Based on the advise from IDQ on fire testing, we had performed our Engineering Success during the social distancing period and achieved: 1) A series of small fire tests in our school laboratory to investigate the feasibility of amino acid-based flame retardant; 2) determine the contribution of Nitrogen in flame retardancy and 3) established a testing prototype.
2)“Section 6. Using Outreach to Increase Access.” Chapter 23. Modifying Access, Barriers, and Opportunities | Section 6. Using Outreach to Increase Access | Main Section | Community Tool Box, ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/implement/access-barriers-opportunities/outreach-to-increase-access/main.
3)“Fire Resistance Test.” Fire Resistance Test - an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/fire-resistance-test.
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