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Minister was shown how nanofibers are extracted from carrots

Published: 11 April 2016

Sweden's Minister for Higher Education and Research, Helene Hellmark Knutsson, visited the lab at the research subject Wood- and Bionanocomposites at Luleå University of Technology.

Kristiina Oksman, Chair Professor in Wood- and Bionanocomposites, showed the lab along with her PhD-students. The Minister was given a demonstration on how to do nanofibres of cellulose, nature's own super material. Nanocellulose has exceptional strength properties comparable with kevlar, but unlike kevlar it is also completely renewable.  

The research group Wood- and Bionanocomposites conducts research on several applications for nanocellulose and they have cooperation with European partners to produce nanofibres from cellulose material on an industrial scale.  

– One of the projects is INCOM (Industrial Production Processes for Nanoreinforced Materials), an EU project where the carrot residues from juice production is used as raw material for producing nanofibers, which can later be used as reinforcement in composite materials, says Linn Berglund, PhD-student at the research subject Wood- and Bionanocomposites.

– In recent years, we have successfully produced nanocomposites based on cellulose using extrusion in volumes of eight kilograms. The development of processes for producing bionanocomposites that can be easily scaled up from laboratory to industrial scale will further increase its use, says Natalia Herrera Vargas, PhD-student at the research subject Wood- and Bionanocomposites.