PhD project: Deign av fuktokänsliga biobaserade syrgasbarriärer genom att systematiskt korrelera biopolymerernas molekylstruktur till barriärfunktioner
Supervisor: Anette Larsson
Dissertation planned to: 2024
The total Swedish export income from packaging and forest-based products is more than 11%. Our forest is a renewable resource that can be used to produce and develop more sustainable packaging materials with decreased climate stress compared to today’s fossil ones or aluminum foil. But, the replacement of fossil based materials with bio-based counterparts is hampered by the change of functionalities occurring upon exposure to moisture. Available models for predicting these changes are inadequate. This PhD project aims to use my new model to predict water- cellulose derivative (CD) interactions (based on Hansen solubility parameters but extended to also include molecular structure information of the CDs) and relate it to the performance of CD barriers in the presence of moisture. Methyl-, ethyl-, hydroxypropyl-cellulose and cellulose acetate will be used as CDs. Their molecular weights, degrees of substitution and distributions of substituents will be characterized and used as structure descriptors. The gas permeabilities, free volumes and glass transition temperatures for barriers exposed to different relative humidities will be determined as the performance parameters. Relationships correlating the molecular structure to the performance of the bio-barriers will be established. This, and the strong involvement by industrial stakeholders, will speed up the development of more robust and moisture insensitive bio-barriers and the transformation to a more sustainable society.
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.