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Active bio-based materials

Imagine a paper that purifies the air when the sun is shining on it, or wood fibers that have a surface layer of graphene and conduct both electricity and heat, or perhaps a piece of wood that signals when people touch it. These and many other properties can be achieved if you mix active materials with components from wood.

Electromagnetic shielding pouch

By active components we mean materials that can interact with their surroundings, such as they swell with moisture, conduct current, purify themselves automatically when they are illuminated, show magnetic properties or react to the chemical composition of the surroundings. When we mix such active materials with wood and especially cellulose, you can create interactive materials with tailored properties. Cellulose is strong and can be formed into a variety of structures such as lightweight foam, strong fibers or paper of all kinds.

We are a creative innovation partner in the development, design and production of interactive forest-based materials for several market segments and applications.

  • We have solid knowledge in processing and characterization of forest-based raw materials
  • We can work with different active materials and combine them with forest-based components. We work e.g. with carbonization, graphene, carbon nanotubes, conductive polymers and inorganic particles in combination with cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin in various forms
  • Material forms we work with are hydrogels, aerogels, filaments, films and paper
  • We can control the interaction between active components and cellulose to tailor material properties and enable water-based processes of substances that do not normally like water (eg carbon nanotubes or graphene)
  • We create efficient production processes for active materials on a pilot scale
  • We have the expertise and equipment to create electronic components from active materials. For example, we can make supercapacitors, batteries, sensors, transistors and actuators

Possible applications include large-scale energy storage, active packaging, smart clothing, antennas and active filters.

The research field for active materials mixed with bio-based materials is very much alive, driven by the material transformation that we must make to land in a sustainable society. We specialize in the entire range from modified nanocellulose to paper fibers to tailor both process and material performance by understanding the material interactions. We have, for example, manufactured photocatalytic papers in tonal scale by mixing zinc oxide particles into paper.

Of course, each specific case and material combination must be adapted to a manufacturing process, but when the basic process is available and the material interactions are known, this adaptation is much easier than if a completely new process had to be invented.

Hjalmar Granberg

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Hjalmar Granberg

PhD Senior research associate

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Karl Håkansson

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Karl Håkansson

Senior research associate

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