Below, you can get inspired by the research done in FinnCERES through educative videos on innovative material solutions for the future bioeconomy.
FinnCERES - Redefining the Bioeconomy
Learn about the paradigm shift towards a circular bio-based era that is imperative due to our over-reliance on fossil-based resources. The FinnCERES Flagship, hosted by the Academy of Finland, VTT, and Aalto University, is developing novel, sustainable uses of natural resources that outperform their fossil-based counterparts. Ground-breaking discoveries are being made in new biorefinery concepts, functional textiles, smart packaging, diagnostics, as well as energy harvesting and storage.
Fibre and Beyond - The Documentary
The Fibre and Beyond documentary explores the latest discoveries, innovations, and applications in the world of bio-based materials. Scientists from various research institutions present exciting news about the potential of advanced bio-based materials in replacing non-renewable raw materials and solving pressing challenges. For example, the documentary presents the potential of wood-based materials in preventing the spread of pathogens and alleviating the environmental burden of the textile industry.
Visionary use of biomass - FinnCERES Flagship
Discover how the circular economy principles observed in non-human ecosystems, such as the repurposing of everything and generating no waste, can be translated into bio-based materials engineering to make high-value products while using less raw material. See how bio-inspired materials engineering is utilized to develop innovative solutions for packaging, construction, and for tackling environmental challenges like microplastics emissions and dye pollution.
Liquid Nanocrystals from Hemicellulose
Researchers are exploring ways to develop higher-value uses for hemicellulose, an abundant but underutilized part of woody biomass. FinnCERES researchers discovered a way to produce unique elongated nanoparticles from hemicellulose, in particular xylan. These types of nanocrystals have not been observed earlier. This discovery could open up new possibilities for using hemicellulose in optoelectronic applications.
Batteries and Solar Panels Made from Wood
Researchers at Aalto University have found new ways to use wood for energy without burning it. In lithium batteries, bio-based carbon can offer enhanced performance compared to fossil carbon. The researchers have also studied the replacement of glass with transparent wood in solar panels and utilized nanocellulose to improve their structure, resulting in enhanced energy capture.
New textile fibers from wood
This video highlights the environmental impact of the textile industry and the need to find sustainable alternatives to cotton and oil-based fibers. The use of wood-based fibers, such as those produced with novel solvents or through mechanical conversion of pulp, can significantly reduce water usage and pollution. Finnish researchers and companies are at the forefront of developing these new, more sustainable textile fibers. The video emphasizes the importance of recycling textiles and making informed choices as consumers.
Virus and Bacteria Killers from Wood
Discover how wood-based compounds can provide a natural path in the fight against bacteria and viruses without damaging the microbes that are important to us. Researchers in Finland are studying the properties of lignin and cellulose nanoparticles as well as bark extractives to develop natural antimicrobial coatings.
Enzymes and Fire Retardants Made from Wood
Enzymes are nature's own catalysts, speeding up decomposition processes like wood decay and food digestion. Enzymes are also used in manufacturing biofuels and next-generation biomaterials like nanocellulose. Finnish researchers have developed a new method for producing high-consistency nanocellulose using enzyme-aided fibrillation technology. This process uses only a fraction of the energy needed for traditional nanocellulose production and results in a material with potential for novel applications.
Mineral enrichment with cellulose
Aalto University's research team has developed a cellulose-based froth flotation technique to improve the environmental impact of mineral enrichment processes. By creating stable, self-stabilizing froths with small bubbles, the process productivity is increased and environmental impact reduced. This technology could be applied to various minerals, including copper, zinc, and gold, without compromising sustainability or performance.
Optical fibres from wood
Explore the potential of wood-based optical fibers. Discover the benefits of these soft and flexible fibers, which can be chemically modified and have a non-toxic composition. These properties offer unique possibilities for their use in applications such as localized laser surgery.
Capturing microplastics with nanocellulose
The use of petroleum-based plastics is causing catastrophic environmental problems. Plastics decompose into microplastic particles, which are found all over our environment, including drinking water and the air we breathe. A Finnish research group has developed a method that uses a nanocellulose membrane to detect and extract microplastics in water. This groundbreaking research could have far-reaching impacts in the fight against this environmental challenge.
Nanosized Lignin Spheres
Lignin, a byproduct of wood processing, can now be reformed into nano-sized spheres, creating new opportunities for high-value products. These spherical lignin particles can replace fossil-based materials in adhesives, cosmetics, and protective coatings. Their manufacturing process is cheap, and the raw material is abundant, making it an excellent material for smart bioeconomy.
Transforming forestry in Finland - UNITE Flagship
Discover how Finland's sustainable forestry practices are combatting climate change and biodiversity loss. With 80% of the country covered in forests, accurate forest data is essential for sustainable forestry practices, and the Finnish National Forest Inventory has been collecting data for 100 years. Remote sensing technologies are being used to detect forest risks, such as pests and storm damage.
Cellulose e skin
The accumulation of unrecyclable electronic waste is a growing problem, particularly as the use of wearable electronics increases. Cellulose e skin researchers have developed a fully biodegradable nanocellulose-based film and glue for printed electronics, enabling recovery of precious metals used in electronic components by re-pulping the film in water. This material provides a flexible and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional solutions made of plastic.
The FinnCERES project SASAMIS studies the properties of wood fibrils using X-ray scattering measurements and atomistic simulations to refine atomic models of the cellulose microfibril bundles, predicting the location of hemicellulose in natural wood. Understanding the interactions of wood-derived components with water is crucial for the developing advanced materials for various applications. This research could enable us to manipulate the hygroscopic properties of cellulose for specific applications.
Boreal Alliance Intro
The Boreal Alliance is a transnational research collaboration network for bio-based materials innovations utilizing the boreal forest resources. The Alliance promotes international research exchanges, advises on science-based policymaking, and encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration between material scientists, engineers, physicists, and molecular biologists to generate innovative ways to replace fossil-based raw materials. Global partnerships are necessary for progress and for forging links between researchers.