Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems

Biobased Materials Technology

The biobased materials technology group (BIOMAT) led by Prof. Thaddeus Maloney carries out research related to the development of next generation fiber products. Our target is to develop material-based technologies which enable the renewal of the paper and board industries.
CHEM_bio_Nanocellulose printing paper

Our research areas:

  1. Pulp fiber structure and modification

  2. Carbon materials and energy storage

  3. Nanocellulose films

The BIOMAT team leverages the inherent possibilities of cellulosic fibers as building blocks for new sustainable products. Production of nanocellulose films, pulp dissolution, and porous carbon materials are current themes. We specialize in pore structure measurements and cellulose/water interactions.

Research themes:

1. Nanomaterial applications:

The BIOMAT team is developing nanomaterial applications for various fiber products. Especially, we are focused on technologies which have potentially large scale applications at an attractive cost structure.


NFC/MFC and nanopapers production

"Nanopapers" refers to paper grades where nanocellulose is a major structural component. Nanopapers have very different, and often superior properties than traditional grades of paper. We are working on nanocellulose production, suspension processing and nanopaper forming and dewatering issues.

Spray, roll, and airlaid forming methods

All-carbon films

We are developing graphene/nanocellulose composites and all-carbon films for various electrical applications.

2. Porous cellulosic materials:

The BIOMAT team is working on porous cellulosic materials. Lignocellulosic fibers and assemblies of nanocelluloses and other forms of cellulose have a fascinating pore structure that can be exploited in a number of product applications. This includes; liquid and gas phase absorbents, hygienic products and phase change composites for construction applications. In the world of porous materials, lignocellulosics are today very under represented. This work includes the development of cutting-edge techniques for measuring fiber, nanofiber and cellulose composite pore structure. We are also working on ways to modulate and stabilize the porosity of cellulosic materials and composites.


Porous nanopapers

In this area of research we are developing methods for producing high surface area and highly porous papers from nanocellulose-based furnishes.

Novel thermoporosimetry techniques

New approaches to thermoporosimetry are being developed including techniques based on unusual transformations of salts and solvents in confined geometries.

Image: Kaniz Moriam

3. Dissolution of pulp fibers:



Assessment and enhancement of pulp reactivity

This study investigates the behavior of pulp under direct dissolution. Pulp reactivity is indirectly assessed monitoring the rheological behavior of pulp suspensions while the fibers are dissolving. The goal is to provide a deeper understanding of which pulp features affect pulp reactivity and to use this knowledge to develop different activation treatments.

Pulp reactivity
CHEM_Bio_BioBased Material Technology Lab

Academic and Industrial Collaborations:

We have a multidisciplinary international team that works closely with industrial partners on topics that support the renewal of the forest products industry. Our work is dedicated to advancement of sustainable raw materials and products in areas where our partners see possibilities for value creation.

New collaborations with:

  • Coimbra University
  • UBI University (Portugal)
  • Karlstad University

New projects with:

  • Stora Enso
  • UPM Kymmene
  • Navigator Company

Research group members:

Recent graduates:



CHEM_Bio_Group photo Biobased Material Technology

Latest publications:

Thermoresponsive and biocompatible poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-cellulose nanocrystals hydrogel for cell growth

Anna Trubetskaya, Jenni Leppiniemi, Sami Lipponen, Salvatore Lombardo, Wim Thielemans, Thaddeus Maloney, Timo Pääkkönen, Kavindra Kumar Kesari, Janne Ruokolainen, Vesa P. Hytönen, Eero Kontturi 2024 Materials Advances

Production of low-density and high-strength paperboards by controlled micro-nano fibrillation of fibers

Hamidreza Ahadian, Sara Ceccherini, Elaheh Sharifi Zamani, Josphat Phiri, Thaddeus Maloney 2023 Journal of Materials Science

Production of functionalized nanocelluloses from different sources using deep eutectic solvents and their applications

Ricardo O. Almeida, Thaddeus C. Maloney, José A.F. Gamelas 2023 Industrial Crops and Products

Effect of pulp prehydrolysis conditions on dissolution and regenerated cellulose pore structure

Antti Koistinen, Josphat Phiri, Kavindra Kesari, Tapani Vuorinen, Thaddeus Maloney 2023 Cellulose

Mapping Nanocellulose- and Alginate-Based Photosynthetic Cell Factory Scaffolds : Interlinking Porosity, Wet Strength, and Gas Exchange

Tuukka Levä, Ville Rissanen, Lauri Nikkanen, Vilja Siitonen, Maria Heilala, Josphat Phiri, Thaddeus C. Maloney, Sergey Kosourov, Yagut Allahverdiyeva, Mikko Mäkelä, Tekla Tammelin 2023 Biomacromolecules

Deaggregation of cellulose macrofibrils and its effect on bound water

Thaddeus Maloney, Josphat Phiri, Aleksi Zitting, Antti Paajanen, Paavo Penttilä, Sara Ceccherini 2023 Carbohydrate Polymers

The Influence of Physical Mixing and Impregnation on the Physicochemical Properties of Pine Wood Activated Carbon Produced by One-Step ZnCl2 Activation

Josphat Phiri, Hamidreza Ahadian, Maria Sandberg, Karin Granström, Thad Maloney 2023 Micromachines

The effect of fines on the consolidation of Eucalyptus/PLA fiber air-laid sheets

A. S. Santos, E. S. Zamani, A. P.M. Sousa, P. C.O.R. Pinto, P. J.T. Ferreira, T. Maloney 2023 Journal of Materials Science

Effect of enzymatic treatment on Eucalyptus globulus vessels passivation

Álvaro Vaz, João Coelho, Vera Costa, Thaddeus Maloney, Josphat Phiri, Paula Pinto, António Mendes de Sousa, Rogério Simões 2023 Scientific Reports
More information on our research in the Aalto research portal.
Research portal
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