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  • 1.
    Karlsson, Kristina
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Berta, Marco
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Bioscience and Materials, Agrifood and Bioscience.
    Öhgren, Camilla
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Bioscience and Materials, Agrifood and Bioscience.
    Stading, Mats
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Bioscience and Materials, Agrifood and Bioscience. Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Rigdahl, Mikael
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Flow Behaviour and Microstructure of a β-Glucan Concentrate2018In: Journal of Polymers and the Environment, ISSN 1566-2543, E-ISSN 1572-8919, Vol. 26, no 8, p. 3352-3361Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The extensional viscosity is an important rheological characteristic of polymer melts. It is however not as frequently reported on as the shear viscosity. The extensional viscosity is of special interest when considering polymeric materials for foaming and film blowing processes. Here, the extensional (and shear) viscosity along with the melt strength and the tensile properties of the corresponding solid film of a β-glucan concentrate are reported on. A capillary viscometer equipped with a hyperbolic die, yielding a contraction flow, was used to assess the extensional viscosity of the aqueous β-glucan compound at room temperature and at elevated temperatures (110 and 130 °C). In general, the extensional viscosity as well as the shear viscosity decreased with increasing deformation rate. The influence of two different amounts of added water (40 and 50%) was also examined. As expected, both types of viscosities decreased with increasing temperature. It is suggested that gelatinization of the starch fraction in the concentrate at 110 and 130 °C contributes to temperature dependence of the viscosity. To some extent, this is supported by light microscopy and confocal scanning laser microscopy studies of the microstructure of the materials. The results reported here indicate that the β-glucan concentrate might, after some modifications, be used as a complement to fossil-based polymers and processed by conventional manufacturing techniques. 

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  • 2.
    Karlsson, Kristina
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Carrillo Aguilera, Marc
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Karlson, Leif
    Akzo Nobel Functional Chemicals AB, Sweden.
    Stading, Mats
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Bioscience and Materials, Agrifood and Bioscience. Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Rigdahl, Mikael
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Chain-Length Shortening of Methyl Ethyl Hydroxyethyl Cellulose: An Evaluation of the Material Properties and Effect on Foaming Ability2018In: Journal of Polymers and the Environment, ISSN 1566-2543, E-ISSN 1572-8919, Vol. 26, no 11, p. 4211-4220Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During the past century, plastics have become a natural element in our every-day life. Lately however, an awareness about the fossil origin and often non-degradable nature of many plastics is rising. This has resulted in the emergence of some bio-based and/or biodegradable plastics, often produced from renewable resources. One possible candidate for bioplastics production could be found in cellulose. This paper aims at contributing information regarding a cellulose derivative, which could possibly be used in foamed plastics applications. Therefore, the reduction of the chain-length of a methyl ethyl hydroxyethyl cellulose (MEHEC), assessed by size exclusion chromatography, and the effect of chain-length on the foaming behaviour were studied. The foaming was accomplished with a hot-mould technique using aqueous polymer solutions. The generated steam was here used as the blowing agent and important parameters were polymer concentration and solution viscosity. The density of the produced foams was assessed and was in some cases comparable to that of commodity foams. It was found that reducing the chain-length enabled an increase of the initial polymer concentration for the foaming process. This is believed to be beneficial for creating more structurally stable foams of this type.

  • 3.
    Karlsson, Kristina
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Larsson, Emanuel
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Bioscience and Materials, Agrifood and Bioscience.
    Loren, Niklas
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Bioscience and Materials, Agrifood and Bioscience.
    Stading, Mats
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Bioscience and Materials, Agrifood and Bioscience. Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Rigdahl, Mikael
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Extrusion Parameters for Foaming of a β-Glucan Concentrate2019In: Journal of Polymers and the Environment, ISSN 1566-2543, E-ISSN 1572-8919, Vol. 27, no 6, p. 1167-1177Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Plastics is a group of materials commonly encountered on a daily basis by many people. They have enabled rapid, low-cost manufacturing of products with complicated geometries and have contributed to the weight reduction of heavy components, especially when produced into a foamed structure. Despite the many advantages of plastics, some drawbacks such as the often fossil-based raw-material and the extensive littering of the material in nature, where it is not degraded for a very long time, needs to be dealt with. One way to address at least one of the issues could be to use polymers from nature instead of fossil-based ones. Here, a β-glucan concentrate originating from barley was investigated. The concentrate was processed into a foam by hot-melt extrusion, and the processing window was established. The effect of different blowing agents was also investigated. Water or a combination of water and sodium bicarbonate were used as blowing agents, the latter apparently giving a more uniform pore structure. The porous structure of the foamed materials was characterized mainly by using a combination of confocal laser scanning microscope and image analysis. The density of the samples was estimated and found to be in a similar range as some polyurethane foams. A set of 3D parameters were also quantified on two selected samples using X-ray microtomography in combination with image analysis, where it was indicated that the porous structure had a pre-determined direction, which followed the direction of the extrusion process. © 2019, The Author(s).

  • 4.
    Lindqvist, Karin
    et al.
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Materials and Production, IVF.
    Andersson, Mattias
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Materials and Production, IVF.
    Boss, Annika
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Materials and Production, IVF.
    Oxfall, Henrik
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Materials and Production, IVF.
    Thermal and mechanical properties of blends containing PP and recycled XLPE cable waste2019In: Journal of Polymers and the Environment, ISSN 1566-2543, E-ISSN 1572-8919, Vol. 27, no 2, p. 386-394Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recycled XLPE from cable manufacturing waste and end-of-life cables were mixed with virgin polypropylene (PP) in order to evaluate the potential to be used in new injection molded products. The influence of metal contaminations on the mechanical and thermal properties and how the blends could be stabilized in order to be recycled and give reliable properties over time were studied. The results show that blends of 25–50% XLPE in PP give good mechanical properties with retained or improved impact strength independent of the source of XLPE. Ageing at 105 °C for 6 months showed a more severe material degradation and loss of mechanical properties for blends that contained XLPE with end-of-life cable. Addition of metal deactivator proved to retain the mechanical properties for more than 8 months of ageing at 105 °C. Simulated recycling of 50% XLPE in PP stabilized with a metal deactivator, showed that mechanical properties were preserved.

  • 5.
    Mendieta, C. M.
    et al.
    IMAM Instituto de Materiales de Misiones, Argentina.
    Vallejos, M. E.
    IMAM Instituto de Materiales de Misiones, Argentina.
    Felissia, F. E.
    IMAM Instituto de Materiales de Misiones, Argentina.
    Chinga-Carrasco, Gary
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Bioeconomy, PFI.
    Area, M. C.
    IMAM Instituto de Materiales de Misiones, Argentina.
    Review: Bio-polyethylene from Wood Wastes2020In: Journal of Polymers and the Environment, ISSN 1566-2543, E-ISSN 1572-8919, Vol. 28, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a global trend of substitution of fossil fuels for renewable energy sources, which are preferred by reasons including sustainability, reduction of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, regional and social systems advancement, among others. This review is part of the studies carried out on the integral use of wood industrial wastes due to its low costs and high availability. A possible high-value product is ethylene, obtained by catalytic dehydration of second-generation bioethanol from lignocellulosic materials and which can be an effective alternative for the production of polymers such as polyethylene (PE), which is conventionally obtained from petroleum. Biobased polyethylene or biopolyethylene (BioPE) may potentially contribute to close a pine biorefinery scheme to obtain high-value products, using processes of low pollution and contributing to the global environmental balance. The process involves the following stages: pretreatment, enzymatic saccharification, fermentation, dehydration, and polymerization. This review includes the different processes for second generation (2G) bioethylene productions from pine wastes as an example and the technologies that can potentially be applied on an industrial scale for BioPE production, focusing on the catalytic dehydration of 2G bioethanol through the use of catalysts able to achieve high ethanol conversions and ethylene selectivity.

  • 6.
    Mikeš, P.
    et al.
    Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic.
    Baker, D. A.
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.
    Uhlin, A
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.
    Lukáš, D.
    Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic.
    Kuželová-Košťáková, E.
    Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic.
    Vidrich, A.
    Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic.
    Valtera, J.
    Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic.
    Kopřivová, B.
    Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic.
    Asatiani, N.
    Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic.
    Salmen, Lennart
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.
    Tomani, Per
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy and Health, Biorefinery and Energy.
    The Mass Production of Lignin Fibres by Means of Needleless Electrospinning2021In: Journal of Polymers and the Environment, ISSN 1566-2543, E-ISSN 1572-8919, Vol. 29, no 7, p. 2164-2173Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract: Lignin, a cheap renewable natural polymer, can be used as a precursor for the production of carbon fibres, its conversion into which is significantly faster than that of polyacrylonitrile. Lignin can be fractionated in various solvents via dissolution to decrease its polydispersity. Fractions with a higher molecular weight distribution can then be used in solvent-based spinning technologies such as electrospinning. We selected several solvent systems according to the Hansen solubility theory and subsequently tested them for solubility and electro-spinability. The selected solvent systems were then successfully tested for use in the needleless electrospinning process due to their potential for mass production. The solutions used in the electrospinning process needed high concentrations of lignin, which led to a high degree of viscosity. Therefore, we measured the relaxation times and viskosity for selected solutions, a factor that plays a pivotal role in terms of the production of smooth fibres. Finally, these solutions were tested for electrospinning using alternating current. This technology brings a new possibility in mass production of lignin fibres due to its high productivity and ease of use. Such materials can be used in a number of applications such as batteries, supercapacitors or for the production of composite materials. They provide a cheap and renewable natural polymer source which can easily be transformed into a carbon nanofibrous layer. Graphic Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

  • 7.
    Ramamoorthy, Sunil Kumar
    et al.
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Materials and Production, IVF.
    Skrifvars, Mikael
    University of Borås, Sweden.
    Alagar, Ragunathan
    University of Borås, Sweden.
    Akhtar, Naeem
    University of Borås, Sweden.
    End-Of-Life Textiles as Reinforcements in Biocomposites2018In: Journal of Polymers and the Environment, ISSN 1566-2543, E-ISSN 1572-8919, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 487-498Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A number of attempts have been made to recycle cotton/polyester blend woven fabrics after use; however, most of these fabrics are disposed of in landfills. Major part of these blend fabrics are not recycled due to complexity of the fibre arrangement and cannot be separated economically. This study shows that these discarded woven fabrics could be directly used as reinforcements in composites without fibre separation. Uniform alignment in the woven fabric provided consistent properties to the composites. The fabrics were reinforced by soybean-based-bioresins to produce biocomposites. The composites were analysed for mechanical, thermal, viscoelastic and morphological properties. Porosity and wettability of the composites were also evaluated. Results demonstrate that the tensile strength and modulus of over 100 and 10 MPa, respectively, can be obtained without any fibre treatment. Furthermore, impact strength over 70 kJ/m2 was obtained without any chemical treatment on fibres. The porosity of the composites produced was less than 9 vol%. Additionally, the fabrics were treated with alkali in order to improve the fibre–matrix interface and the composite properties were studied. From the economical perspective, these composites can be produced at a low cost as the major component is available for free or low cost.

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  • 8.
    Rodionova, Galina
    et al.
    NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway.
    Saito, Tsuguyuki
    University of Tokyo, Japan.
    Lenes, Marianne
    RISE, Innventia, PFI – Paper and Fiber Research Institute.
    Eriksen, Øyvind
    RISE, Innventia, PFI – Paper and Fiber Research Institute.
    Gregersen, Øyvind Weiby
    NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway.
    Kuramae, Ryota
    University of Tokyo, Japan.
    Isogai, Akiara
    University of Tokyo, Japan.
    TEMPO-mediated oxidation of Norway Spruce and Eucalyptus Pulps: Preparation and Characterization of Nanofibres and Nanofiber Dispersions2013In: Journal of Polymers and the Environment, ISSN 1566-2543, E-ISSN 1572-8919, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 207-214Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study deals with 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl (TEMPO)-mediated oxidation of cellulose. Softwood and hardwood pulp fibers were suspended in water and oxidized to various extents at pH 10 and 22 °C using sodium hypochlorite in the presence of TEMPO radical and sodium bromide. This reaction system is known to be the most efficient one for the introduction of both surface carboxyl and aldehyde groups. Important relationships between formation of these functional groups and the fibrillation yield, light transmittance of the water dispersions and degree of polymerization of the oxidized softwood and hardwood pulps were established in the present study. A birefringence test confirmed the presence of nanofibers which according to atomic force microscopy analyses had diameters in the 1. 6-3. 8 nm range.

  • 9.
    Türe, Hasan
    et al.
    KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Blomfeldt, Thomas O.J.
    KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Gällstedt, Mikael
    RISE, Innventia.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael Stefan
    KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Properties of Wheat-Gluten/Montmorillonite Nanocomposite Films Obtained by a Solvent-Free Extrusion Process2012In: Journal of Polymers and the Environment, ISSN 1566-2543, E-ISSN 1572-8919, no 4, p. 1038-1045Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This is, to our knowledge, the first study of wheat-gluten-based nanocomposite films prepared by a solvent-free extrusion process. Wheat gluten/montmorillonite nanocomposite films were obtained in a single screw-extruder using urea as a combined denaturant and plasticizer. The oxygen permeability and water vapor transmission rate of the films decreased by respectively factors of 1. 9 and 1. 3 when 5 wt.% clay was added. At the same time, the stiffness increased by a factor of 1. 5, without any critical loss of extensibility. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and Energy-dispersive X-ray analysis indicated that the clay particles were layered mainly in the plane of the extruded film. It was possible to identify individual platelets/tactoids with FE-SEM and, together with findings from transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy and X-ray diffraction, it was concluded that the clay existed as individual clay platelets, intercalated tactoids and agglomerates. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that the thermal stability of the extrudates was improved by the addition of clay.

  • 10.
    Wedin, Helena
    et al.
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Bioeconomy, Biorefinery and Energy.
    Niit, Ellinor
    Swedish School of Textiles, Sweden.
    Mansoor, Z. Ahmad
    re:newcell AB, Sweden.
    Kristinsdottir, Anna Runa
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Materials and Production, IVF.
    de la Motte, Hanna
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Bioeconomy, Biorefinery and Energy.
    Jönsson, Christina
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Materials and Production, IVF.
    Östlund, Åsa
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Bioeconomy, Biorefinery and Energy.
    Lindgren, Christofer
    re:newcell AB, Sweden.
    Preparation of Viscose Fibres Stripped of Reactive Dyes and Wrinkle-Free Crosslinked Cotton Textile Finish2018In: Journal of Polymers and the Environment, ISSN 1566-2543, E-ISSN 1572-8919, Vol. 26, no 9, p. 3603-3612Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The chemical recycling of cellulosic fibres may represent a next-generation fibre–fibre recycling system for cotton textiles, though remaining challenges include how to accommodate fibre blends, dyes, wrinkle-free finishes, and other impurities from finishing. These challenges may disrupt the regeneration process steps and reduce the fibre quality. This study examines the impact on regenerated viscose fibre properties of a novel alkaline/acid bleaching sequence to strip reactive dyes and dimethyloldihydroxyethyleneureas (DMDHEU) wrinkle-free finish from cotton textiles. Potentially, such a bleaching sequence could advantageously be integrated into the viscose process, reducing the costs and environmental impact of the product. The study investigates the spinning performance and mechanical properties (e.g., tenacity and elongation) of the regenerated viscose fibres. The alkaline/acid bleaching sequence was found to strip the reactive dye and DMDHEU wrinkle-free finish from the cotton fabric, so the resulting pulp could successfully be spun into viscose fibres, though the mechanical properties of these fibres were worse than those of commercial viscose fibres. This study finds that reactive dyes and DMDHEU wrinkle-free finish affect the viscose dope quality and the regeneration performance. The results might lead to progress in overcoming quality challenges in cellulosic chemical recycling. 

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  • 11.
    Åkesson, Dan
    et al.
    University of Borås, Sweden.
    Kuzhanthaivelu, Gauthaman
    University of Borås, Sweden.
    Bohlén, Martin
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Materials and Production, Polymeric Materials and Composites.
    Effect of a Small Amount of Thermoplastic Starch Blend on the Mechanical Recycling of Conventional Plastics2021In: Journal of Polymers and the Environment, ISSN 1566-2543, E-ISSN 1572-8919, Vol. 29, p. 985-991Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The usage of bioplastics could increase in the future which may cause contamination of the waste streams of conventional plastics. The objective of this study was to investigate if a small amount of biopolymer contaminating conventional polymers would significantly affect mechanical and thermal properties. A starch-based plastic was first compounded by blending plasticised starch with PLA (polylactic acid). This polymer blend was subsequently compounded with HDPE (high density polyethylene), PP (polypropylene) or PET (polyethylene terephthalate) at 0%, 1% and 5% of the biopolymer. The compounds were characterised by tensile tests, Charpy impact tests, DSC (differential scanning calorimetry) and FESEM (field emission scanning electron microscopy). Tests showed that PE and PP were not significantly affected in terms of tensile strength and modulus but the elongation at break showed a strong reduction. PET was, on the other hand, incompatible with the starch-based plastic. Already at 1% contamination, PET had lost most of its impact strength. © 2020, The Author(s).

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