Research

The overall mission of WWSC is to create opportunities for a new and sustainable forest industry by building a first class research center. The objective is to build a competence platform aimed towards New materials from trees. This includes associated processing routes, where large volume applications are of particular interest. To meet the objectives, a comprehensive research program has been defined, which is divided into two main components, The Materials Biorefinery and Wood Nanotechnology.

Project I – The Materials Biorefinery

Wood is viewed as a source of well-defined material components of higher value, in the form of biopolymers and chemicals, for use in high performance material systems. The challenge is successful extraction and separation of components from the complex biopolymer mixture in the wood tissue. The scientific goal is to identify and describe the mechanisms for extraction/separation. Chemical, enzymatic and thermomechanical methods are combined. The research will contribute to new processing concepts for more sophisticated refining of raw materials from the forest.


A schematic description of the research in project I.

A schematic description of the research in project I.


Project II and III – Wood Nanotechnology

Nanocellulose and well-defined biopolymers will form the basis for a new generation of forest products in the form of high-performance materials and devices. These materials and products have strongly improved performance and display new functions. The key to this development is a deeper understanding of the unique nano- and molecular scale characteristics of nanocellulose and well-defined biopolymers. The scientific focus is on fundamentals of water-based processing, of routes to nanostructural control and mechanisms for property enhancement. Wood is studied as a biological starting material for new wood products and as a source of inspiration for new biocomposites.


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Highly porous aerogels from cellulose modified to absorb oil from an oil-water interface. Published with permission from Dr Nicholas Tchang Cervin.

Highly porous aerogels made from cellulose, modified to absorb oil from an oil-water interface. Published with permission from Dr Nicholas Tchang Cervin.