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Key Research Themes


Future Biorefineries

The battle to fight climate change is driving industries to create better, more efficient and entirely new ways to utilise bio-based raw materials. Lignocellulose has vast untapped potential in a wide range of material solutions. New processes that enable novel functional fractions from biomass are being developed to complement traditional kraft pulping.

Novel solvents, new processes and resource efficiency

Enzymes, for example, offer highly selective routes for extracting new fractions, and the use of energy and chemicals is significantly lower than in traditional pulping. Recent developments in biotechnology enable access to a number of potentially interesting enzymes and several new types of reactions. This fundamental research is expected to open several new avenues for commercial production of high value-added materials.

Future biorefineries will use novel processes to increase the yield of valuable fractions as well as to create entirely new ones. Some of the innovative new technologies can be used as drop-in solutions, thus lengthening the life cycle of old mills. In addition, other novel technologies will complement current production and create new, profitable products from lignocellulose.

Check out our ongoing projects in this theme.

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Clean Air and Water

Woody biomass and plants offer untapped potential in novel water and air purification applications thanks to their natural ability to interact with water.


Lignocellulosic material properties are often downgraded after contact with water. However, this challenge can be turned into an advantage in biomaterial development. Novel and feasible material families that enable a wide range of new applications can be developed by exploiting cellulose-water interactions.


The inherent properties of cellulose fibres can be exploited, for example, in filtering harmful particles and other contaminants from water and air. Currently, some of our most promising approaches include nanocellulose-based capturing of microplastics, hormones and pharmaceutical residues from wastewater.

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Electronics, Optics and Energy Applications

The natural properties of lignocellulosic building blocks can provide groundbreaking possibilities in completely new areas within electronics.

Lignocellulose-based materials offer new solutions for electronic applications related to harvesting, converting and storing energy. For example, biochars could be used to replace rare metals in solar cells. 

In addition, FinnCERES research activities focus on investigating band structures and optical properties of nanocellulose. Our research can turn lignocellulose into the next revolutionary material in electronics.

Check out our ongoing projects in this theme.


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Lignocellulosics Beyond Plastics

The search is on for lightweight, high-strength, multifunctional materials and high-performance biocomposites that could provide sustainable alternatives to plastics.

Nearly 300 million tonnes of plastics are produced annually, of which millions of tonnes end up in the environment, harming marine life and other ecosystems.

Lignocellulose offers one sustainable alternative to plastics, with similar or often better properties. In efforts to reduce the use of plastic, FinnCERES is currently working on enabling bio-based, biodegradable and low-cost production of materials with desirable mechanical and functional properties. 

Some of our projects in this field include creating high-performance materials combining nanoscale bio-based building blocks, developing functionalization routes for textiles, and investigating tessellation patterns suitable for large-scale production of flexible packaging materials.

Check out our ongoing projects in this theme.

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