– It was a very good event. We got to meet many talented scientists and it was very rewarding to discuss our research with them, says Martha Herrera, PhD-student in Wood and Bionanocomposites at Luleå University of Technology.
Forest own kevlar
This year's theme was about research on nanocellulose, which has been likened to forest kevlar. The material is extracted from wood fibers and has great advantages since it is very strong while also being biodegradable. As raw material, waste from the forestry industry can for example be used, which is preferable to today's petroleum-based materials. It is also possible to produce environmentally friendly foam and barrier materials of cellulose.
Luleå University of Technology is at the forefront when it comes to research on nanocellulose and the four PhD-students at Wood and Bionanocomposites who participated in the Marcus Wallenberg Prize all have interesting research in the area.
Martha Herrera is researching a nanocellulose coating to be used for packages so that less environmentally friendly packaging can be phased out. Narges Naseri’s research on nanocellulose has a medical application, namely to repair cartilage. Cartilage is important for our joints to function. Shiyu Geng is working on a method to facilitate the production of cellulose-based nanocomposites, a material with very good mechanical properties. Peng Liu is doing research on a filter consisting of nanocellulose that purifies dirty process water in the industry.
Encourages sustainable development
The purpose of the Marcus Wallenberg Prize is to encourage and stimulate research that contributes to sustainable development of forestry and forest industries. During the event, participants got to participate in a seminar, symposium, banquet (attended by the Swedish royal couple), and they also visited Innventia and the Wallenberg Wood Science Center at KTH.