Biorefineries

Biorefineries research group lead by Prof. Herbert Sixta focuses on the fractionation of lignocellulosic raw materials into its polymeric and non-polymeric constituents and developing new routes for their chemical and biochemical conversion into high-value added products.
Biorefineries research group. Photo: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University.

Research themes

Biomass fractionation: chemical pulping refineries and novel fractionation processes

We investigate radically new energy and resource efficient production technologiesfor chemical pulping, e.g. Kraft-Oxygen Delignification (KrOxy) process and new dissolving pulp technologies. In addition, our research group develops novel biomass fractionation processes based on the utilization of supercritical water and green solvents, e.g. gamma-valerolactone (GVL).

Biomass valorisation

Cellulose: We study conversion of cellulose e.g. into man-made cellulose fibers and all-cellulose composites.

Hemicelluloses: Our research topics include the valorisation of xylan from alkaline extractions, production of xylo-oligosaccharides and catalytic conversion of biomass-derived sugars into furans.

Lignin: Lignin is an interesting biomass component which can be converted into valuable products such as bio-oil. Lignin-cellulose blends can be used e.g. as precursor fibers for carbon fibers, or as natural dye in textiles.

Aalto University / Valorisation of hemicelluloses / photographer: Anni Hanén
Valorisation of hemicelluloses

ALL-CELL: From ultra-light to ultra-strong all-cellulose composites via green processing

Finland Distinguished Professor grant awarded to Prof. Tatiana Budtova (Center for Materials Forming of MINES ParisTech, France). The goal of the 4-year project (started 2016) is to imagine, prepare and characterize new fully bio-based materials, all-cellulose composites.

Read more
Feng Chen, Tatiana Budtova and Oona Korhonen - ALL-CELL team. Photo by Eveliina Jutila

Examples of ongoing research projects

  • Trash-2-Cash (EU Horizon 2020)
  • SolvRec (Business Finland)
  • iCom (Business Finland)
  • ALL-CELL (FiDiPro, Prof. Tatiana Budtova)
  • WoCaFi (ERC starting grant, Dr. Michael Hummel)
  • Tekide (ERDF)
Aalto University / Ioncell logo

Ioncell

Ioncell-F is a technology that turns used textiles, pulp or even old newspapers into new textile fibers sustainably and without harmful chemicals. The process converts cellulose into fibers which in turn can be made into long-lasting fabrics.

Read more about the Ioncell process and our projects at ioncell.fi!

Twitter: @IoncellFibers

ioncell.fi

Awards

The Ioncell-F process was granted the Global Change Award 2016 by the H&M Conscious Foundation, the Paper Recycling Award 2015 of the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC), and the DIA Innovation Award 2018.

γ-valerolactone biorefinery

γ-valerolactone pulping is a novel organic solvent fractionation process developed by Professor Herbert Sixta’s Biorefineries research group.

Read more
GVL biorefinery Photo: Aalto University / Anni Hanén

Latest publications

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biorefineries

Plasmonic cellulose textile fiber from waste paper for BPA sensing by SERS

Publishing year: 2020 Spectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biorefineries

Influence of reaction conditions on solvolysis of organosolv lignin using water and green organic co-solvents as reaction medium

Publishing year: 2020 Fuel Processing Technology
School services, CHEM, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biorefineries

Production of reactive lignin mix through catalytic solvolysis of organosolv lignin

Publishing year: 2019
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biorefineries

Field-Flow Fractionation of Cationic Cellulose Derivatives

Publishing year: 2019 Chromatographia
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biorefineries, Biohybrid materials, Department of Applied Physics, Wood Chemistry

Catalytic efficiency and stability of tertiary amines in oxidation of methyl 4-deoxy-β-L-threo-hex-4-enopyranosiduronic acid by hypochlorous acid

Publishing year: 2019 Molecular Catalysis
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biorefineries

Upcycling of cotton polyester blended textile waste to new man-made cellulose fibers

Publishing year: 2019 Waste Management
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biorefineries

Gelation of cellulose-NaOH solutions in the presence of cellulose fibers

Publishing year: 2019 Carbohydrate Polymers
Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, Chemical engineering, Hydrometallurgy and Corrosion, Chemical Engineering in Aqueous Systems, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biorefineries

Physical Properties of 7-Methyl-1,5,7-triazabicyclo[4.4.0]dec-5-ene (mTBD)

Publishing year: 2019 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THERMOPHYSICS
Biorefineries, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems

How properties of cellulose acetate films are affected by conditions of iodine-catalyzed acetylation and type of pulp

Publishing year: 2019 Cellulose
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biorefineries

Environmental impact of cellulose carbamate fibers from chemically recycled cotton

Publishing year: 2019 Journal of Cleaner Production
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database

Research group members

Simone Haslinger

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Doctoral Candidate

Sanna Hellsten

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Research Fellow
Herbert Sixta

Herbert Sixta

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Professor
Kaarlo Nieminen

Kaarlo Nieminen

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Researcher
Huy Quang Le

Huy Quang Le

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Postdoctoral Researcher
Michael Hummel

Michael Hummel

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Professor (Associate Professor)

Mikaela Trogen

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Doctoral Candidate

Yibo Ma

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Postdoctoral Researcher

Oona Korhonen

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Doctoral Candidate

Tatiana Budtova

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Professor (FiDiPro)

Most Moriam

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Doctoral Candidate
Feng Chen

Feng Chen

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Doctoral Candidate

Sherif Elsayed

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Doctoral Candidate

Hilda Zahra

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Doctoral Candidate

Leena Katajainen

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Doctoral Candidate

Daisuke Sawada

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Postdoctoral Researcher

Marja Rissanen

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Project Researcher
Joanna Witos

Joanna Witos

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Postdoctoral Researcher

Chamseddine Guizani

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Postdoctoral Researcher

Leena Pitkänen

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Staff Scientist

Marianna Granatier

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Doctoral Candidate

Inge Schlapp-Hackl

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Postdoctoral Researcher

Hng Hng Yin Ying

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Postdoctoral Researcher
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