Materials from Renewable Resources
Value added chemical building blocks and lignin from wood
The use of renewable resources in the production of chemicals is in the perspective of sustainability highly desirable. It is also believed to create numerous societal benefits such as the revitalisation of rural areas. These drivers are increasingly recognized, especially by brand owners, thus creating a growing market pull for green products. At the same time biorefining and biochemicals processes become increasingly cost efficient. Consequently, chemicals produced from biomass feedstocks, including woody biomass, are considered to become a major growth area. In that context UPM, SEKAB, METabolic EXplorer and the Technische Universität Darmstadt have partnered, joining competences of forest, chemical and bio-technology industries.
The objective of ValChem is to demonstrate the technical and economic viability of an innovative and sustainable value chain, which utilises wood as raw material to produce the bio-alternative of the platform chemical monopropylenglykol as well as lignin-based performance chemicals.
Performance-lignin is intended to replace similar-in-application fossil components in high value added reactive resins and composites. This application will be developed jointly by the Technische Universität Darmstadt and UPM.
ValChem is a Demonstration Project and relates to the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) annual work plan topic BBI Topic: BBI.VC1.D2 2014: “Chemical building blocks and value-added materials through integrated processing of wood”
The formal EU project info can be found in the CORDIS portal. For more information, please visit the ValChem-Website:www.valchem.eu
Novel stimuli-responsive cellulose derivatives
M.Sc. Yonggui Wang (2013 – 2015)
Cellulose derivatives have got a huge potential as sustainable, functional materials, which can substitute commercial, petro-chemical derived plastics. In this project, we are interested in the formation of novel cellulose-based stimuli-responsive materials, by functionalization of cellulose polymers with diverse groups. Examples progress from ultra-light nanocomposite aerogels of bacterial cellulose and reduced graphene oxide for specific absorption and separation of organic liquids, to superhydrophobic surfaces from surface-stearoylated cellulose fibers, and transparent, stimuli-responsive films from surface-stearoylated cellulose organogel nanoparticles.
Superhydrophobic surfaces from surface-stearoylated cellulose fibers
Transparent, stimuli-responsive films from surface-stearoylated cellulose organogel nanoparticles
 Wang, Y. G.; Yadav, S.; Heinlein, T.; Konjik, V.; Breitzke, H.; Buntkowsky, G.; Schneider, J. J.; Zhang, K., Ultra-light nanocomposite aerogels of bacterial cellulose and reduced graphene oxide for specific absorption and separation of organic liquids, Rsc Adv, 2014, 4, 21553-21558.