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2024 jun 14




KTH / online


Jowan Rostami
Jowan Rostami

Mer info


Defence of doctoral thesis: Jowan Rostami – Functional Low-Density Materials from Cellulose Fibers and Fibrils


The defense is taking place at D1, KTH, and is possible to follow via Zoom.

Opponent: Professor Orlando Rojas, The University of British Columbia, Kanada

Supervisor: Professor Lars Wågberg


Cellulose-based aerogels are emerging bio-based materials for a range of applications in the quest toward a circular and carbon-neutral society. Owing to their lightweight nature, high porosity, high specific surface area, biocompatibility, and biodegradability, cellulose aerogels are suitable for packaging, insulation, wound care products, hygiene products, and water purification. However, their commercial use is hampered by complicated time- and energy-consuming fabrication processes. Hence, industrially relevant processes with upscaling opportunities need to be developed for cellulose-based aerogels to reach their full potential. 

This thesis explores different scalable and simple methods for preparing and designing highly porous aerogels with high wet integrity using cellulose-rich fibers and cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs). As wet integrity is crucial for specific applications and enables further functionalization of the aerogels using water-based chemistry, different methods were developed to achieve wet integrity without complicated crosslinking procedures. The effects of the raw materials and processing methods on the final material properties were also carefully studied to optimize the performance for the targeted applications. Moreover, the role of the network-forming ability of CNFs in the development of functional materials with structural integrity was explored by incorporating small amounts of CNFs in aerogel systems based on macroscopic cellulose-rich fibers and nanosized metal-organic frameworks. 

Finally, the potential of the different developed cellulose-based or cellulose-reinforced aerogels with high wet integrity was demonstrated in applications for which the aerogels’ structural integrity and physical and mechanical properties are highly advantageous, such as biomedical applications, gas storage and separation, flame retardancy, and hygiene products. As demonstrated in this thesis, these functional aerogel materials could be a bio-based alternative for today’s fossil-based materials.