Crystalline nanocellulose for biobased aerospace vehicles
Research Project, 2024

To design future sustainable transport systems, society needs new sustainable materials to build the vehicles within these systems. In aerospace vehicles—including drones, urban air mobility, and spacecraft—existing materials such as carbon fibre composites are derived from fossil fuels, highly toxic to produce, and non-recyclable. Advances in biotechnology open up the prospect of novel biobased, non-toxic and high-performance materials for these vehicles: a potential pathway towards fully-sustainable aerospace transport. In this short project, we will study a novel high-strength biobased material in which Chalmers has a strong tradition of expertise: cellulose nanocrystals (CNC). Leveraging cross-disciplinary expertise across Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg, we will identify and test manufacturing methods for CNC that could enable the production of CNC spars and rotor blades for aerospace vehicles; collate mechanical properties into a design database for aerospace applications of CNC; and establish robust environmental testing protocols for CNC using natural plankton communities. The result will be a design, fabrication, and characterisation toolbox for CNC in aerospace systems that will support larger-scale research programmes in biobased aerospace vehicles.


Arion Pons (contact)

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Fluid Dynamics

Shivesh Kumar

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Dynamics

Gunnar Westman

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry



Funding Chalmers participation during 2024

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