PhD project: Wood Hemicelluloses: Molecular Structure and Interactions in Woody Tissues
Supervisor: Francisco Vilaplana
Dissertation planned to: 2023
The main goal of my PhD project is to understand how the structural complexity of hemicelluloses is linked to their properties and to the recalcitrance of wood. First I isolate and characterize xylan and mannan fractions from birch, spruce and eucalyptus utilizing advanced chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques. Parallel to the studies on extracted hemicelluloses, I will utilize molecular modelling to understand, on the atomic level, the effect of the substitutions on the polymer conformation and further on the preferred interaction of varying hemicellulose structures with cellulose surfaces. The target is to correlate the fundamental molecular level understanding from the simulations with the experimentally observed properties of pure hemicelluloses to accurately describe the structure and function of hemicelluloses.
Treesearch aims at creating a national platform to support the research on new materials from the forest. Research projects conducted within Treesearch research areas and the researchers who are active in these projects are welcome to join the platform.