A new type of polymers can be produced in a more environmentally friendly way, using wood instead of oil as a raw material, according to research at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden. The next step is to replace the wood with the process water from the pulp industry. This means a solution to an environmental problem and access to a cheap renewable raw material.
The substances in question, hemicellulose-based hydrogels, are a good example of how oil can be replaced by other raw materials in the production of polymers, an ever more important step in efforts to create a sustainable society. The new possibilities of producing hydrogels and other polymers from wood and process water from the pulp industry have whetted the interest of the forestry industry in pursuing this research further, according to Margaretha Söderqvist Lindblad, who has presented a doctoral dissertation based on this research. Since hemicellulose is soluble both in water and certain mild organic solvents, production can furthermore be more environmentally friendly than parts of the corresponding processes using oil as raw material.
“Older techniques for isolating hemicellulose yield water-insoluble hemicellulose, which is considerably more difficult to alter chemically. So on top of the fact that the raw material is to be preferred in our endeavor to create a sustainable society, the ensuing reactions are also easy on the environment,” says Margareth Söderqvist Lindblad. This is entirely in line with the efforts to find environmentally adapted solutions that permeate all research at the new interdisciplinary Department of Fiber and Polymer Technology at KTH. Professor Ann-Christine Albertsson, who directed the dissertation, began work on developing polymers from renewable raw materials as early as the mid 1980s.
Magnus Myrén | alfa
Melting solid below the freezing point
23.01.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science
An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk
20.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Life Sciences
23.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding