Nanocelluloses in future advanced hybrid materials
Hybrid materials are composites of two or more constituents with dimensions at nanoscale or molecular level. The combined materials can have extraordinary properties. In nature, bone and wood are examples of hybrid materials. All plants contain the nanoscaled structure cellulose that gives them strength and stiffness. We use various methods to extract nanocelluloses from plants and get a range of different nanocelluloses with varying properties. In this project, we explore the possibilities of utilizing nanocelluloses in manmade hybrid materials.
Nanocellulose is a novel, advanced and biobased material component with a wide range of both known and hitherto undiscovered applications. The industrial interest is high, and industrial implementation of nanocellulose technology has the potential to give significant contributions to Swedish bioeconomy targets. Research groups in today’s RISE Bioeconomy were among the pioneers in nanocellulose research. RISE is in the forefront of international research in production of, modification of and applications for nanocellulose, both cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC). Furthermore, RISE has unique research infrastructure, such as lab- and pilot plants for CNF, a unique transportable CNF demonstration plant and a unique CNC pilot plant.
The international research within nanocellulose has primarily dealt with production techniques and specific applications. There has to a lesser extent been systematic research on exploring and understanding the interactions between nanocellulose and other material components. As many of the future nanocellulose applications will be in combination with other material components, understanding these interactions will be the key to develop novel materials with specific material properties, such as strength, electrical properties, magnetic properties, absorption properties and viscoelasticity. A fundamental understanding of how nanocellulose yields unique properties in interaction with other materials, will give RISE an important competitive advantage. Potential product applications are vast and applies to wide variety of fields such as paper and packaging applications, food, cosmetics, biomedical applications, composites, oilfield applications, membranes, flexible displays, templates for chemical synthesis and catalysis. Most above-mentioned areas are already being explored by RISE, in cooperation with industry and academia, and many more are expected to be explored in the future. The width in application areas makes a polytechnical organization with multi-industrial orientation, such as RISE, particularly suitable to pave the way for the development.
Kristin Syverud, +47 959 03 740, kristin.syverud [at] rise-pfi.no