Lukas Fliri's visit to the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU)

Aalto doctoral candidate Lukas Fliri visited the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) as part of a FinnCERES GoGlobal mobility program. He conducted a 3-month research internship in the Institute of Chemistry of Renewable Resources led by Prof. Antje Potthast and Prof. Thomas Rosenau.

Lukas’ PhD studies focus on oxidative modifications of cellulose, with the aim to apply them to alter the properties of cellulosic textile fibers. Thereby the preparation of dialdehyde cellulose (DAC) has so far been one of his main research topics. Both Prof. Potthast and Prof. Rosenau are known experts in this research field and have published several renowned works on the preparation of DAC materials and on the analytical techniques needed for their investigation.

Aim of this research exchange was to obtain a better understanding of the decrease of the degree of polymerization (DP) during DAC preparation, owing to unwanted side reactions. For this endeavor, several samples were prepared and pretreated to allow for investigations using size exclusion chromatography. Thereby, it was possible to overcome the limitations usually confronted by the heavily crosslinked nature of the material and to obtain insights into the stability of DAC towards different pH conditions. The results obtained so far look promising and Lukas is optimistic that this study can serve as a fundament to investigate the DP decrease during this oxidation reaction. Hopefully, strategies to prevent these side reactions can ultimately be elaborated. This is crucial in order to develop meaningful DAC chemistry for cellulose fiber applications.

During his exchange Lukas had the opportunity to collaborate with and discuss his work with leading experts in his field, leaving him with new aspects and approaches towards his research.

Lukas says:

I really want to thank Prof. Rosenau, Prof. Potthast and their team for the warm welcome to their group! I had a nice and interesting stay in Vienna and hope that I can successfully implement the obtained findings and expertise back in Finland. I am looking forward to continuing the good teamwork in future collaborations!