Biopolymer Chemistry and Engineering
Group's research areas are:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
Many entrepreneurs and researchers set their goals based on a realisation that something needs to be done differently. The change they envision might be a new product or material, or it can be a new way to do things. Implementing change isn’t always easy, however, and it demands a stomach for uncertainty, say Professor Michael Hummel and entrepreneurs Annu Nieminen and Richard Nordström.
Aalto University’s Bioinnovation Centre will be established with the grant amounting over 10 million euros received from Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation. Bioinnovation Centre will start its operation in 2021 by the recruitment of a professor enabled by the grant and opening the first call for the doctoral school supported by the grant.
Fascination for wood and Finland.
The ERC grant facilitates the commercialisation of developments that evolved from ERC-funded research projects.
Researchers need to be team players, says Professor of Biopolymer Chemistry and Engineering.
Michael Hummel will start in the beginning of May, 2019.
Postdoc researcher thinks that cutting-edge research requires a multi-disciplinary group of highly qualified and highly motivated partners.
Michael Hummel, the recipient of the much sought-after ERC Starting Grant, knows that there is a great need for more affordable carbon fibre.