Controlling cellulose-water interactions

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Goal & aim
The aim of this postdoctoral project is to understand how cellulose-water interactions depend on sample morphology and surface energy and to utilize this knowledge in controlling water transport in cellulosic materials.

Background
Cellulose, the most abundant biopolymer in the world, is the major constituent of plant cell walls. It is also widely used in a range of man-made materials, including paper, textiles, packages and barriers. Interactions with water play a vital role in the performance of cellulosic materials (in terms of strength, dimensional stability, permeability and so on), but they are still far from being fully understood.

A deeper understanding of cellulose-water interactions is expected to further the design of new materials for controlled drug release, environmentally benign packaging, specialty textiles, and wound care products, just to give a few examples.

Research questions
•    What is the contribution of porosity and pore size to water transport in cellulosic materials?
•    How do the water transport properties change when surface energy is changed?
•    Can we produce materials with tailor-made water transport properties by controlling its porosity and surface energy?

Published: Tue 23 Aug 2016.