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  • 1.
    Alander, B.
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Capezza, A.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials. Department of Plant Breeding, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 101, Alnarp, Sweden.
    Wu, Q.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH).
    Johansson, E.
    Olsson, Richard T.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH).
    Hedenqvist, Mikael
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH).
    A facile way of making inexpensive rigid and soft protein biofoams with rapid liquid absorption2018In: Industrial crops and products (Print), ISSN 0926-6690, E-ISSN 1872-633X, Vol. 119, p. 41-48Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A novel and facile method to produce inexpensive protein biofoams suitable for sponge applications is presented. The protein used in the study was wheat gluten (WG), readily available as a by/co-product, but the method is expected to work for other cross-linkable proteins. The foams were obtained by high-speed stirring of pristine WG powder in water at room temperature followed by drying. Glutaraldehyde was used to crosslink the foam material in order to stabilize the dispersion, reduce its tackiness and improve the strength of the final foam. The foams were of medium to high density and absorbed readily both hydrophobic and hydrophilic liquids. The foam structure, consisting primarily of an open pore/channel system, led to a remarkably fast capillary-driven (pore-filling only) uptake of a hydrophobic liquid (limonene). Essentially all uptake occurred within the first second (to ca. 90% of the dry weight). In a polar liquid (water), the rapid pore-filling occurred in parallel with a more time-dependent swelling of the foam matrix material. Further improvement in the foam strength was achieved by making a denser foam or adding TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibres. Soft foams were obtained by adding glycerol.

  • 2.
    Antonio, Capezza
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology.
    Andersson, Richard L.
    Ström, Valter
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Materials Science and Engineering.
    Wu, Qiong
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Biocomposites.
    Sacchi, Benedetta
    Univ Milan, Dept Chem, Via Golgi 19, I-20133 Milan, Italy.
    Farris, Stefano
    Univ Milan, DeFENS, Dept Food Environm & Nutr Sci, Packaging Div, Via Celoria 2, I-20133 Milan, Italy.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology.
    Olsson, Richard T.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Preparation and Comparison of Reduced Graphene Oxide and Carbon Nanotubes as Fillers in Conductive Natural Rubber for Flexible Electronics2019In: Omega, ISSN 0030-2228, E-ISSN 1541-3764, Vol. 4, no 2Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Conductive natural rubber (NR) nanocomposites were prepared by solvent-casting suspensions of reduced graphene oxide(rGO) or carbon nanotubes (CNTs), followed by vulcanization of the rubber composites. Both rGO and CNT were compatible as fillers in the NR as well as having sufficient intrinsic electrical conductivity for functional applications. Physical (thermal) and chemical reduction of GO were investigated, and the results of the reductions were monitored by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy for establishing a reduction protocol that was useful for the rGO nanocomposite preparation. Field-emission scanning electron microscopy showed that both nanofillers were adequately dispersed in the main NR phase. The CNT composite displays a marked mechanical hysteresis and higher elongation at break, in comparison to the rGO composites for an equal fraction of the carbon phase. Moreover, the composite conductivity was always ca. 3-4 orders of magnitude higher for the CNT composite than for the rGO composites, the former reaching a maximum conductivity of ca. 10.5 S/m, which was explained by the more favorable geometry of the CNT versus the rGO sheets. For low current density applications though, both composites achieved the necessary percolation and showed the electrical conductivity needed for being applied as flexible conductors for a light-emitting diode. 

  • 3.
    Liu, Dongming
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Wu, Qiong
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Andersson, Richard L.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Farris, Stefano
    Olsson, Richard T.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology. KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
    Cellulose nanofibril core-shell silica coatings and their conversion into thermally stable nanotube aerogels2015In: Journal of Materials Chemistry A, ISSN 2050-7488, Vol. 3, no 30, p. 15745-15754Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A facile water-based one-pot reaction protocol for obtaining 20 nm thick uniform silica coatings on cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) is herein presented for the first time. The fully covering silica shells result in the thermal stability of the CNFs improved by ca. 70 degrees C and 50 degrees C under nitrogen and oxygen atmospheres, respectively. Heating of the core-shell hybrid fibres to 400 degrees C results in complete degradation/removal of the CNF cores, and demonstrates an inexpensive route to large-scale preparation of silica nanotubes with the CNFs used as templates. The key to a uniform condensation of silica (from tetraethyl orthosilicate) to cellulose is a reaction medium that permits in situ nucleation and growth of the silica phase on the fibrils, while simultaneously matching the quantity of the condensed silica with the specific surface area of the CNFs. Most coatings were applied to bundles of 2-3 associated CNFs, which could be discerned from their negative imprint that remained inside the silica nanotubes. Finally, it is demonstrated that the coated nanofibrils can be freeze-dried into highly porous silica/cellulose aerogels with a density of 0.005 g cm(-3) and how these hybrid aerogels preserve their shape when extensively exposed to 400 degrees C in air (>6 h). The resulting material is the first reported silica nanotube aerogel obtained by using cellulose nanofibrils as templates.

  • 4.
    Lo Re, Giada
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Biocomposites.
    Engström, Joakim
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Coating Technology. KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
    Wu, Qiong
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Biocomposites.
    Malmström, Eva
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
    Gedde, Ulf W.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Olsson, Richard
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Berglund, Lars
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Biocomposites. KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Coating Technology.
    Improved Cellulose Nanofibril Dispersion in Melt-Processed Polycaprolactone Nanocomposites by a Latex-Mediated Interphase and Wet Feeding as LDPE Alternative2018In: ACS Applied Nano Materials, ISSN 2574-0970, Vol. 1, no 6, p. 2669-2677Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This work reports the development of a sustainable and green one-step wet-feeding method to prepare tougher and stronger nanocomposites from biodegradable cellulose nanofibrils (CNF)/polycaprolactone (PCL) constituents, compatibilized with reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer-mediated surfactant-free poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) latex nanoparticles. When a PMMA latex is used, a favorable electrostatic interaction between CNF and the latex is obtained, which facilitates mixing of the constituents and hinders CNF agglomeration. The improved dispersion is manifested in significant improvement of mechanical properties compared with the reference material. The tensile tests show much higher modulus (620 MPa) and strength (23 MPa) at 10 wt % CNF content (compared to the neat PCL reference modulus of 240 and 16 MPa strength), while maintaining high level of work to fracture the matrix (7 times higher than the reference nanocomposite without the latex compatibilizer). Rheological analysis showed a strongly increased viscosity as the PMMA latex was added, that is, from a well-dispersed and strongly interacting CNF network in the PCL.

  • 5.
    Paulraj, Thomas
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology.
    Wennmalm, Stefan
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Applied Physics, Experimental Biomolecular Physics. KTH, Centres, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. ..
    Riazanova, Anastasia, V
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology.
    Wu, Qiong
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology.
    Crespo, Gaston A.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Chemistry, Applied Physical Chemistry.
    Svagan, Anna J.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology.
    Porous Cellulose Nanofiber-Based Microcapsules for Biomolecular Sensing2018In: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, ISSN 1944-8244, E-ISSN 1944-8252, Vol. 10, no 48, p. 41146-41154Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) have recently attracted a lot of attention in sensing because of their multifunctional character and properties such as renewability, nontoxicity, biodegradability, printability, and optical transparency in addition to unique physicochemical, barrier, and mechanical properties. However, the focus has exclusively been devoted toward developing two-dimensional sensing platforms in the form of nanopaper or nanocellulose-based hydrogels. To improve the flexibility and sensing performance in situ, for example, to detect biomarkers in vivo for early disease diagnostics, more advanced CNF-based structures are needed. Here, we developed porous and hollow, yet robust, CNF-based microcapsules using only the primary plant cell wall components, CNF, pectin, and xyloglucan, to assemble the capsule wall. The fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled dextrans with M-w of 70 and 2000 kDa could enter the hollow capsules at a rate of 0.13 +/- 0.04 and 0.014 +/- 0.009 s(-1), respectively. This property is very attractive because it minimizes the influence of mass transport through the capsule wall on the response time. As a proof of concept, glucose oxidase (GOx) enzyme was loaded (and cross-linked) in the microcapsule interior with an encapsulation efficiency of 68 +/- 2%. The GOx-loaded microcapsules were immobilized on a variety of surfaces (here, inside a flow channel, on a carbon-coated sensor or a graphite rod) and glucose concentrations up to 10 mM could successfully be measured. The present concept offers new opportunities in the development of simple, more efficient, and disposable nanocellulose-based analytical devices for several sensing applications including environmental monitoring, healthcare, and diagnostics.

  • 6.
    Prathap, Kaniraj Jeya
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemistry, Organic Chemistry.
    Wu, Qiong
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Olsson, Richard T.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Dinér, Peter
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemistry, Organic Chemistry.
    Catalytic Reductions and Tandem Reactions of Nitro Compounds Using in Situ Prepared Nickel Boride Catalyst in Nanocellulose Solution2017In: Organic Letters, ISSN 1523-7060, E-ISSN 1523-7052, Vol. 19, no 18, p. 4746-4749Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A mild and efficient method for the in situ reduction of a wide range of nitroarenes and aliphatic nitrocompounds to amines in excellent yields using nickel chloride/sodium borohydride in a solution of TEMPO-oxidized nanocellulose in water (0.01 wt %) is described. The nanocellulose has a stabilizing effect on the catalyst, which increases the turnover number and enables low loading of nickel catalyst (0.1-0.25 mol % NiCl2). In addition, two tandem protocols were developed in which the in situ formed amines were either Boc-protected to carbamates or further reacted with an epoxide to yield β-amino alcohols in excellent yields.

  • 7. Strain, I. N.
    et al.
    Wu, Qiong
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Pourrahimi, Amir Masoud
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Olsson, Richard T.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Andersson, Richard L.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Electrospinning of recycled PET to generate strong mesomorphic fibre membranes for smoke filtrationManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 8. Strain, I. N.
    et al.
    Wu, Qiong
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Pourrahimi, Amir Masoud
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Olsson, Richard T.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Andersson, Richard L.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Electrospinning of recycled PET to generate tough mesomorphic fibre membranes for smoke filtration2015In: Journal of Materials Chemistry A, ISSN 2050-7488, Vol. 3, no 4, p. 1632-1640Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Tough fibrous membranes for smoke filtration have been developed from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles by solution electrospinning. The fibre thicknesses were controlled from 0.4 to 4.3 mu m by adjustment of the spinning conditions. The highest fibre strength and toughness were obtained for fibres with an average diameter of 1.0 mu m, 62.5 MPa and 65.8 MJ m(-3), respectively. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns of the fibres showed a skewed amorphous halo, whereas the differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) results revealed an apparent crystallinity of 6-8% for the 0.4 and 1 mu m fibres and 0.2% crystallinity for the 4.3 mu m fibres. Heat shrinkage experiments were conducted by exposing the fibres to a temperature above their glass transition temperature (T-g). The test revealed a remarkable capability of the thinnest fibres to shrink by 50%, which was in contrast to the 4.3 mu m fibres, which displayed only 4% shrinkage. These thinner fibres aka showed a significantly higher glass transition temperature (+15 degrees C) than that of the 4.3 mu m fibres. The results suggested an internal morphology with a high degree of molecular orientation in the amorphous segments along the thinner fibres, consistent with a constrained mesomorphic phase formed during their rapid solidification in the electric field. Air filtration was demonstrated with cigarette smoke as a model substance passed through the fibre mats. The 0.4 mu m fibres showed the most effective smoke filtration and a capacity to absorb 43x its own weight in smoke residuals. whereas the 1 mu m fibres showed the best combination of filtration capacity (32x) and mechanical robustness. The use of recycled PET in the form of nanofibres is a novel way of turning waste into higher-value products.

  • 9.
    Wu, Qiong
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Biofoams and Biocomposites based on Wheat Gluten Proteins2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Novel uses of wheat gluten (WG) proteins, obtained e.g. as a coproduct from bio-ethanol production, are presented in this thesis. A flame-retardant foam was prepared via in-situ polymerization of hydrolyzed tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) in a denatured WG matrix (Paper I). The TEOS formed a well-dispersed silica phase in the walls of the foam. With silica contents ≥ 6.7 wt%, the foams showed excellent fire resistance. An aspect of the bio-based foams was their high sensitivity to fungi and bacterial growth. This was addressed in Paper II using a natural antimicrobial agent Lanasol. In the same paper, a swelling of 32 times its initial weight in water was observed for the pristine WG foam and both capillary effects and cell wall absorption contributed to the high uptake. In Paper III, conductive and flexible foams were obtained using carbon-based nanofillers and plasticizer. It was found that the electrical resistance of the carbon nanotubes and carbon black filled foams were strain-independent, which makes them suitable for applications in electromagnetic shielding (EMI) and electrostatic discharge protection (ESD). Paper IV describes a ‘water-welding’ method where larger pieces of WG foams were made by wetting the sides of the smaller cubes before being assembled together. The flexural strength of welded foams was ca. 7 times higher than that of the same size WG foam prepared in one piece. The technique provides a strategy for using freeze-dried WG foams in applications where larger foams are required.

    Despite the versatile functionalities of the WG-based materials, the mechanical properties are often limited due to the brittleness of the dry solid WG. WG/flax composites were developed for improved mechanical properties of WG (Paper V). The results revealed that WG, reinforced with 19 wt% flax fibres, had a strength that was ca. 8 times higher than that of the pure WG matrix. Furthermore, the crack-resistance was also significantly improved in the presence of the flax.

  • 10.
    Wu, Qiong
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Andersson, Richard L.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Holgate, Tim
    Johansson, Eva
    Gedde, Ulf W.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Olsson, Richard T.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Highly porous flame-retardant and sustainable biofoams based on wheat gluten and in situ polymerized silica2014In: Journal of Materials Chemistry A, ISSN 2050-7488, Vol. 2, no 48, p. 20996-21009Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article presents a novel type of flame-retardant biohybrid foam with good insulation properties based on wheat gluten and silica, the latter polymerized in situ from hydrolysed tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS). This led to the formation of intimately mixed wheat gluten and silica phases, where, according to protein solubility measurements and infrared spectroscopy, the presence of silica had prohibited full aggregation of the proteins. The foams with "built-in" flame-retardant properties had thermal insulation properties similar to those of common petroleum- and mineral-based insulation materials. The foams, with a porosity of 87 to 91%, were obtained by freeze-drying the liquid mixture. Their internal structure consisted of mainly open cells between 2 and 144 mu m in diameter depending on the foam formulation, as revealed by mercury intrusion porosimetry and scanning electron microscopy. The foams prepared with >= 30% TEOS showed excellent fire-retardant properties and fulfilled the criteria of the best class according to UL94 fire testing standard. With increasing silica content, the foams became more brittle, which was prevented by cross-linking the materials (using gluteraldehyde) in combination with a vacuum treatment to remove the largest air bubbles. X-ray photoelectron and infrared spectroscopy showed that silicon was present mainly as SiO2 .

  • 11.
    Wu, Qiong
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Lindh, Vilhelm H.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Johansson, E.
    Olsson, Richard T.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Freeze-dried wheat gluten biofoams; scaling up with water welding2017In: Industrial crops and products (Print), ISSN 0926-6690, E-ISSN 1872-633X, Vol. 97, p. 184-190Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents a simple and rapid wet welding technique that enables the scaling up of freeze-dried protein (wheat gluten (WG)) biofoams for e.g. thermal insulation applications. The welding occurred by first wetting faces of foam cubes in water and then pressing them together for a limited time period. The water plasticized thin cell-walls of the two foams formed a dense weld when the plasticized cells collapsed under the drying step. The welds were always stronger and stiffer than the surrounding cellular structure. Based on three-point bending, it was shown that welded specimens (four-cube samples) were 7 times stronger than specimens produced directly as one piece with similar total size. This illustrated the problem of freeze-drying larger products; by instead assembling smaller foams into a large object the overall foam structure became more homogeneous. In addition, the dense welds become “walls” that limit gas convection in the mainly open cell structure, beneficial for thermal insulation. This is the first report on combined freeze-drying and water welding. It shows the sustainable potential of the technique for foam production, since only water is used as a foaming/welding agent.

  • 12.
    Wu, Qiong
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Rabu, Julie
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Goulin, Kevin
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Sainlaud, Chloe
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Chen, Fei
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Johansson, E.
    Olsson, Richard T.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Flexible strength-improved and crack-resistant biocomposites based on plasticised wheat gluten reinforced with a flax-fibre-weave2017In: Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, ISSN 1359-835X, Vol. 94, p. 61-69Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents strength-improved and crack-resistant wheat gluten biocomposites, using flax-fibre-weaves as reinforcement. The composites were produced by dip-coating of the weave into a wheat gluten/glycerol (WGG) solution, or by compression moulding. The most extensive coverage and wetting of the flax yarns occurred during the compression moulding, and the adhesion between the fibres and the matrix increased with increasing glycerol content. The compression-moulded sheets were, at a comparable flax content, stiffer than those produced by dipping, whereas their strength was similar and their extensibility slightly lower. Tensile tests on notched samples showed that the flax yarn improved the crack-resistant properties significantly; the maximum stress increased from 2 to 29 MPa using a content of 19 wt.% flax fibres. A clear advantage of this novel mechanically flexible biocomposite is that it can be shaped plastically under ambient conditions, while at the same time providing in-plane stiffness, strength and crack-resistance.

  • 13.
    Wu, Qiong
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Sundborg, Henrik
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Andersson, Richard L.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Peuvot, Kevin
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Guex, Leonard
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Nilsson, Fritjof
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Olsson, Richard T.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Conductive biofoams of wheat gluten containing carbon nanotubes, carbon black or reduced graphene oxide2017In: RSC Advances, ISSN 2046-2069, E-ISSN 2046-2069, Vol. 7, no 30, p. 18260-18269Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Conductive biofoams made from glycerol-plasticized wheat gluten (WGG) are presented as a potential substitute in electrical applications for conductive polymer foams from crude oil. The soft plasticised foams were prepared by conventional freeze-drying of wheat gluten suspensions with carbon nanotubes (CNTs), carbon black (CB) or reduced graphene oxide (rGO) as the conductive filler phase. The change in conductivity upon compression was documented and the results show not only that the CNT-filled foams show a conductivity two orders of magnitude higher than foams filled with the CB particles, but also that there is a significantly lower percolation threshold with percolation occurring already at 0.18 vol%. The rGO-filled foams gave a conductivity inferior to that obtained with the CNTs or CB particles, which is explained as being related to the sheet-like morphology of the rGO flakes. An increasing amount of conductive filler resulted in smaller pore sizes for both CNTs and CB particles due to their interference with the ice crystal formation before the lyophilization process. The conductive WGG foams with CNTs were fully elastic with up to 10% compressive strain, but with increasing compression up to 50% strain the recovery gradually decreased. The data show that the conductivity strongly depends on the type as well as the concentration of the conductive filler, and the conductivity data with different compressions applied to these biofoams are presented for the first time.

  • 14.
    Wu, Qiong
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Yu, Shun
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Kollert, Matthias
    Mtimet, Mekki
    Roth, Stephan V.
    Gedde, Ulf W.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Johansson, Eva
    Olsson, Richard T.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Highly Absorbing Antimicrobial Biofoams Based on Wheat Gluten and Its Biohybrids2016In: ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING, ISSN 2168-0485, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 2395-2404Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents the absorption, mechanical, and antimicrobial properties of novel types of biofoams based on wheat-gluten (WG) and its biohybrids with silica. The hybrid WG foams were in situ polymerized with silica using two different silanes. When immersed in water, the 90-95% porous WG and silica-modified hybrid WG foams showed a maximum water uptake between 32 and 11 times the original sample weight. The maximum uptake was only between 4.3 and 6.7 times the initial weight in limonene (a nonpolar liquid) but showed reversible absorption/desorption and that the foams could be dried into their original shape. The different foams had a cell size of 2-400 mu m, a density of 60-163 kg/m(3), and a compression modulus of 1-9 MPa. The integrity of the foams during swelling in water was improved by cross-linking with glutaraldehyde (GA) or by a thermal treatment at 130 degrees C, which polymerized the proteins. In the never-dried state, the foam acted as a sponge, and it was possible to squeeze out water and soak it repeatedly. If the foam was dried to its glassy state, then the cells collapsed and did not open again even if the solid foam was reimmersed in water, saving as a sensor mechanism that can be used to reveal unintended exposure to polar liquids such as water under a product's service life. Small-angle X-ray scattering revealed that the gliadin-correlated structure expanded and then disappeared in the presence of water. The foam was made antimicrobial by impregnation with a Lanasol solution (a bromophenol existing in algae). It was also shown that the foam can act as a transfer/storage medium for liquids such as natural oils (rapeseed oil) and as a slow-release matrix for surfactant chemicals.

  • 15.
    Yu, Shun
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Chen, Fei
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Wu, Qiong
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Roth, Stephan V.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology. Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Germany.
    Bruning, Karsten
    Schneider, Konrad
    Kuktaite, Ramune
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Structural Changes of Gluten/Glycerol Plastics under Dry and Moist Conditions and during Tensile Tests2016In: ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING, ISSN 2168-0485, Vol. 4, no 6, p. 3388-3397Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The structures of wheat gluten-based materials are greatly influenced by plasticizer content, moisture content, and external mechanical loading. In this study, the effects of moisture on the structure of wheat gluten (WG) plasticized by glycerol were investigated by using in situ small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS), mechanical tensile testing, and thermal analyses. The materials were processed with additives of ammonium hydroxide/salicylic acid or urea and conditioned at 0, 50, and 100% relative humidity (RH). In general, water showed similar effects on the WG structure and mechanical properties regardless of the type of additive. It was observed that the known hexagonal close-packed (HCP) structure in WG was present mainly under moist conditions and swelled with an increase in water content. The absorbed water molecules hydrated the protein chains at 50% RH and further led to the formation of a separate water/glycerol phase at 100% RH. An interesting feature was observed by in situ SAXS during tensile deformation; both the HCP structure and other protein aggregates packed more densely in both the tensile and transverse directions. It is interpreted as follows: "randomly oriented" chains were drawn out and stretched in the tensile direction, which squeezes the self-assembled structures together, similar to "tightening a knot".

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