Biocomposites -fiber modifiction and melt studies to increase the processability at high fiber content
Research Project, 2018 – 2021

Our contribution to reach the United Nations´ global sustainable development goal #12 “promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation” is to find methodologies that will enable the production of higher amounts of lignocellulose fibers in wood-polymer composites, WFPC. To realize this dream into reality requires an increased compatibility between the hydrophilic lignocellulose surfaces and the hydrophobic polymer carriers. Even if > 600 scientific papers are annually published in the field, there is still a lack on how a specific hydrophobic modification affects the compatibility, dispersability and processability of biocomposites. In this project, the surface of the lignocellulose fibers will be hydrophobized by water scalable state of art chemistry: Quantification of the properties of (i)the modified fibers (type of substituent, degree of modification, fiber length, aspects ratio, surface energy and wettability), (ii)the flow of the polymer - modified reinforcing fiber melts (indicated dispersability, rheology and thermic properties) (iii)the mechanical properties of produced WFPC (compatibility) will give data. By combining DoE, design of Experiments, and statistical approaches as QSPR (quantitative structure property relationships) the correlation from chemical surface structure to physical properties transferred to process parameters such as melt rheology, shear effects and compatibility with matrix will be obtained. The outcome will give new predicative and mathematical models so that WPC with a cellulose content of 80 % and WFPC with a fiber content over 60% can be reached.


Gunnar Westman (contact)

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry


Stora Enso AB

Stockholm, Sweden



Project ID: 2017-05402
Funding Chalmers participation during 2018–2021

Stora Enso AB

Funding Chalmers participation during 2020–2021

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

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