Current commodity foamed materials (packaging materials, absorbents, medical products etc.) are made from fossil-based raw materials. Foamed materials consume a substantial amount of fossil-based resources and recycling is low. The present project will develop extruded foams based on the hemi-cellulose galactoglucomannan (GGM) and nano-cellulose thus replacing current fossil-based raw materials (Area I). GGM is a biopolymer which can be extracted from the by-products of thermo-mechanical pulp processing thus making better use of the forest biomass (Area II). GGM is available in large amounts at a potentially competitive price, but research is needed to improve material properties (by e.g. chemical modification) and develop foamed structures. Industrial participation ensures that the high commercial demands on functionality combined with low price are met, as well as giving ability for direct implementation in current processes. End users will ensure that functionality for packaging and medical applications are met. The participating academic experts in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Environmental Science will promote innovation and utilization as well as contribute to prioritizing activities towards improved sustainability (Area IV). The proposed research program will lead to a change from fossil-based to renewable foams for absorbent and packaging applications, a more competitive the forest industry, better use of the cellulose biomass as well as novel foam materials.
Professor vid Pharmaceutical Technology
Funding Chalmers participation during 2013–2017 with 25,000,000.00 SEK