Applicability of chemical reactions is often limited to batch processes, while Industry demand requires continuous production. As reactive extrusion, between all reactive processing techniques, ads versatility to continuity, transferring chemistries from a flask or batch reactor to REx seems quite intriguing. To reach this goal, we have adapted polymers surface modification, grafting and synthesis to extruders. Moreover, we are now showing how solid-state reactions, such as transefterifications, can work in extruders in order to continuously produce polymers and (nano) composites for advanced applications.
Rosica Mincheva is a lecturer and associate researcher at the Laboratory of Polymeric and Composite Materials at the University of Mons, Belgium. She studies macromolecular chemistry and engineering, and preparation of nanostructured materials, via controlled polymerization, polycondensation and solid-state reactions, for their transfer to reactive (melt) processing.
Design of reactive extrusion methods for lignocellulosic nanocomposites towards large scale applications.
A distinctive feature of studying biopolymeric materials relates to the search for relations between the structure (on different levels), the processing and the material properties. The use of such materials requires an adaptation of the processing techniques in relation to their rheological and thermal properties, with the aim of a nanostructure control for improved mechanical and /or other physical properties. Specific interests focus on understanding how the structure-modification of cellulose and lignin affects their viscoelastic properties and processability.
Strong attention is devoted to advances in understanding the processing-structure-properties relationships of materials, including bottom-up approaches for material engineering from the molecular design towards new routes for sustainable reactive processing, aiming at the control of the material nanostructure.
Giada Lo Re serves as Associate Professor at Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden from 2018. She has been laureated with the 2012 best PhD Thesis in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (AIMAT, Italy) and awarded with the Green Materials Prize 2016 (Institution of Civil Engineers in London, UK). She has been senior researcher in UMONS University (Belgium), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY, USA), KTH (Stockholm, Sweden).