Farhiya Alex Sellman
The focus of my research area are the irreversible structural changes that occur in cellulose fibres when they are dried for the first time below a certain moisture content is. This is most observable through a permanent decreased ability to swell and hold water and the permanent closure of pores within the fibre wall.
Numerous alternatives are proposed as the underlying mechanism for hornification of cellulose fibres upon water removal (drying).
In order to overcome the linkages within the fibre wall, the nature of the interactions between adhering fibril surfaces must be understood on a molecular level. Developing an understanding of the causes and mechanisms of irreversible changes in cellulose is of relevance to any process where wetting and drying of fibres is a central step, e.g. the pulp and paper industry but also in the making of functionalized cellulose-based materials where we want the ability to fully tailor and control the cellulose interactions.