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
Getting closer to porous, light-responsive materials
26.07.2017 | Kyoto University
25.07.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.07.2017 | Life Sciences
26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences