New Foam Materials from Forestry and Agricultural By-Products
Foam materials of today (for packaging material, absorbents, med tech products etc.) are mainly manufactured by using fossil-based raw materials. In the SmartFoam research project we aim to develop extruded foam materials based on cellulose, hemi-celluloses, nano-crystalline cellulose and proteins, which are by-products from processes used in forestry and the agricultural sector. The biopolymers are available in large quantities at a potential competitive price, but research is needed to improve access to raw materials, develop material properties e.g. by chemical modification and to develop foam with the desired properties.
The research project covers the entire chain from raw material to finished product. In this project the extraction and modification methods for raw materials, as well as formulation and process technology for the production of foams will be developed.
The SmartFoam project will deliver knowledge of:
- Choice of raw material for chemical modification and optimal foam properties
- Hemi-cellulose extraction
- Chemical modification of hemi-celluloses (how the type and degree of modification effects the foaming and final foam material properties)
- Which polymer parameters that: improve water resistance; can act as internal plasticizers and is important for “foambility” of the cellulose mass
- How additives such as nano-crystalline cellulose or micro fibrillated cellulose influences the pore structure (open/closed pore structure)
, Project Leader
For general information:
Chalmers University of Technology
Chemical and Biological Engineering
SE-412 96 Göteborg
Phone: +46 (0)31 772 27 63
The SmartFoam project is granted by:
The Swedish Research Council Formas
and contributions by project partners.