Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems

Biopolymer Chemistry and Engineering

The Biopolymer Chemistry and Engineering group explores the structural features and thermochemical behavior of biopolymer solutions and suspensions to produce value-added products.
Biopolymer Chemistry and Engineering, photo: Valeria Azovskaya
photo by: Valeria Azovskaya

Group's research areas are:

  1. Bio-based carbon material:
    Wood-derived polymers and other biopolymers are subjected to tailored pyrolysis protocols to produce bio-based carbon material. The main applications targeted are carbon fibers, carbon material for energy harvesting and storage, and carbon catalysts for chemical reactions.
  2. Rheological behavior of biopolymer solutions and suspensions:
    Traditional and novel solvent systems are explored to dissolve various biopolymers and non-polymeric constituents. The solutions or suspensions are characterized by a comprehensive set of rheological tools (shear, capillary and extensional rheometers).
  3. Biopolymer-based fibers and yarns for functionalized textiles:
    Cellulosic and other biopolymeric fibers are modified following the twelve principles of green chemistry. Functionalized textiles are developed together with Aalto University’s textile engineers and designers.

The team led by Prof. Michael Hummel studies various biosynthesized polymers such as lignocellulose, non-plant based carbohydrates, and polypeptides using a comprehensive set of analytical tools and processing equipment.

Related content:

Get to know us: Associate Professor Michael Hummel

Fascination for wood and Finland.

Michael smiling in Dipoli building

Professor Michael Hummel awarded a Proof of Concept grant from the European Research Council

The ERC grant facilitates the commercialisation of developments that evolved from ERC-funded research projects.

Professor Michael Hummel

Michael Hummel: Sustainable and renewable materials will replace oil-based products

Researchers need to be team players, says Professor of Biopolymer Chemistry and Engineering.

Michael Hummel, kuva: Jaakko Kahilaniemi

Michael Hummel appointed as Associate Professor

Michael Hummel will start in the beginning of May, 2019.

Michael Hummel ja Kristiina Kruus allekirjoittamassa sopimusta

Michael Hummel knows breakthrough research is hardly ever a one-man show

Postdoc researcher thinks that cutting-edge research requires a multi-disciplinary group of highly qualified and highly motivated partners.

Michael smiling in Dipoli building

Seven-figure grant for researcher producing carbon fibre from wood

Michael Hummel, the recipient of the much sought-after ERC Starting Grant, knows that there is a great need for more affordable carbon fibre.

The ERC is funding ground-breaking, cutting edge research. What is needed for opening up new paths?

‘Cooperations that allow for a multi-disciplinary approach are very central. In addition to experts in wood chemistry and forest products technology, we have various specialists in engineering and other sciences’, says Michael Hummel.

Latest publications:

Fluoroponytailed Brooker's merocyanines

Lukas Fliri, Gabriel Partl, Daniel Winkler, Gerhard Laus, Thomas Müller, Herwig Schottenberger, Michael Hummel 2021 DYES AND PIGMENTS

Ionic and neutral fluorosurfactants containing ferrocene moieties as chromophoric constituents

Lukas Fliri, Gabriel Partl, Daniel Winkler, Klaus Wurst, Thomas Gelbrich, Thomas Müller, Herwig Schottenberger, Michael Hummel 2021 Journal of Fluorine Chemistry

N,N-Dimethoxyimidazolium Derivatives as Ion Pair Constituents of Energetic Redox Couples : Model Studies by Thermal Analysis and Crystallography

Lukas Fliri, Thomas Gelbrich, Ulrich J. Griesser, Gabriel Partl, Felix R.S. Purtscher, Sandro Neuner, Kevin Erharter, Klaus Wurst, Volker Kahlenberg, Doris E. Braun, Thomas S. Hofer, Albert Rössler, Herwig Schottenberger 2021 Zeitschrift fur Anorganische und Allgemeine Chemie

Bottom-up Construction of Xylan Nanocrystals in Dimethyl Sulfoxide

Zhuojun Meng, Daisuke Sawada, Christiane Laine, Yu Ogawa, Tommi Virtanen, Yoshiharu Nishiyama, Tekla Tammelin, Eero Kontturi 2021 Biomacromolecules

Process-dependent nanostructures of regenerated cellulose fibres revealed by small angle neutron scattering

Daisuke Sawada, Yoshiharu Nishiyama, Thomas Röder, Lionel Porcar, Hilda Zahra, Mikaela Trogen, Herbert Sixta, Michael Hummel 2021 Polymer

Cellulose-lignin composite fibres as precursors for carbon fibres. Part 1 – Manufacturing and properties of precursor fibres

Mikaela Trogen, Nguyen Duc Le, Daisuke Sawada, Chamseddine Guizani, Tainise Vergara Lourençon, Leena Pitkänen, Herbert Sixta, Riddhi Shah, Hugh O'Neill, Mikhail Balakshin, Nolene Byrne, Michael Hummel 2021 Carbohydrate Polymers

2-Mercaptoimidazolium halides : structural diversity, stability and spontaneous racemisation

Doris E. Braun, Martin Lampl, Volker Kahlenberg, Klaus Wurst, Herwig Schottenberger, Michael Hummel, Ulrich J. Griesser 2020 CrystEngComm

The fiber-matrix interface in Ioncell cellulose fiber composites and its implications for the mechanical performance

Mindaugas Bulota, Simona Sriubaite, Anne Michud, Kaarlo Nieminen, Mark Hughes, Herbert Sixta, Michael Hummel 2020 Journal of Applied Polymer Science

Exploring Large Ductility in Cellulose Nanopaper Combining High Toughness and Strength

Feng Chen, Wenchao Xiang, Daisuke Sawada, Long Bai, Michael Hummel, Herbert Sixta, Tatiana Budtova 2020 ACS Nano

Swelling and dissolution kinetics of natural and man-made cellulose fibers in solvent power tuned ionic liquid

Feng Chen, Daisuke Sawada, Michael Hummel, Herbert Sixta, Tatiana Budtova 2020 Cellulose
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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