Last week Kristin Syverud from RISE PFI held a presentation on a meeting arranged by the Vinnova competence centre FiBre at KTH in Stockholm. The presentation was based on the work described in the recent reviews “Hydrophobization of lignocellulosic materials part I: physical modification, Hydrophobization of lignocellulosic materials part II: chemical modification and Hydrophobization of lignocellulosic materials part III: modification with polymers” published in Cellulose.
Sandra Rodriguez Fabia at RISE PFI is the first author of these reviews.
The excessive use of fossil fuel-based products in today’s society is one of the main sources of CO2 emissions.
In recent years some measures have been taken to reduce plastic use. A very good example is the EU directive (EU) 2019/904 against single-use plastics. As a result, many plastic products, such as cutlery, cups and plates, have been replaced by cellulose-based materials. However, cellulose is a material that has affinity for water, and it needs to be become water-resistant (at least for a limited period of time) if it has to be in contact with food. To achieve that, cellulose should be modified by different methods to make it waterproof enough so that a paper cup can contain liquids without disintegrating.
The three reviews mentioned above summarize the available technologies to obtain hydrophobic cellulose-based materials. These methods range from “simple” coating technologies to complex chemical modifications. Hydrophobization of cellulosic materials is a topic that will become more and more relevant in the future as plastics are replaced by other materials.
RISE PFI is part of RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden
RISE PFI is and internationally acknowledged research institute within processes and products based on lignocellulose. RISE PFI´s focus areas are Fibre technology and fibre-based products, Biorefining and Bioenergy and Biopolymers and Biocomposites.
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