Assessment of the homogeneity of chemical modifications aimed for thermoplasticisation of cellulosic fibres

PI: Per Larsson and Lars Wågberg
Post-doc: Cecilia Fager
Duration: 1 year starting autumn 2020


Cellulose is a stiff and non-thermoplastic biopolymer, typically found arranged as multi-scale hierarchical fibres in plants. However, some derivatives of cellulose show thermoplasticitiy. One such derivative is dialcohol cellulose and it has been shown that if the cellulose in pulp fibres are at least partly converted to dialcohol cellulose (Figure 1), the fibres may still remain being fibres while materials made from them display thermoplastic properties in terms of softening, increased ductility and melt processability. Since wood-derived fibres are heterogeneous in nature, it is expected that not all fibres are modified to the same extent and this project aim to shed some light one how the functional groups that have been introduced is distributed in the fibre wall; from the nanometre level up to the micrometre level.

Scientific: Chemistry–structure–property relationships needed for thermoplasticisation of lignocellulosic fibres.

Technical: A methodology to assess the homogeneity of fibre wall modifications on lengtscales ranging from micrometres down to (sub-)nanometre, using advanced imaging, spectroscopy and x-ray techniques.

Description of how this project addresses the hypotheses in FibRe__________________________________________

In short, Fib:Re address how lignocellulose can be modified, in a minimal way, to exhibit thermoplasticity. This project starts with a modified fibre that has been reported to exhibit such properties. By understanding this known system it is foreseen that fundamental knowledge on the prerequisites for thermoplasticity of lignocellulosic fibres can be gained. Although the methodology to be develop aims to characterised a pre-defined modified fibre, it is envisioned that it can be modified to fit other modifications that might be developed later within this centre.​

Page manager Published: Tue 07 Dec 2021.