Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

Synthesis Technologies

The Synthesis Technologies (SynTe) group explores the reactivity of materials in solvent-free reaction set-ups. Our focus is on the chemical and enzymatic transformation of biopolymers, to develop more sustainable and safer technologies to expand the portfolio of available renewable materials. The group is led by Assistant Professor Sandra Kaabel.
Photo of stainless steel milling jars and balls, and biomaterials cotton and branch.
Ball milling equipment for solvent-free reactions, for example for the conversion of biomaterials. Image: Aalto University/Sandra Kaabel.

Mechanochemistry and accelerated aging are solid-state synthetic approaches, which help avoid or minimize the use of solvents in chemical processing. This allows us to avoid the hazards and waste related to heating and recycling of solvents, leading to greener and safer chemical reactions.

SynTe group research explores how to use these solid-state methods to efficiently make and modify insoluble materials, such as cellulose, synthetic polymers and pigments, which require harsh reaction conditions and toxic solvents to bring into solution.

Our research focus is on:

  • Solvent-free modification of cellulose nanomaterials
  • Enzymatic transformation of biological and synthetic polymers
  • Green organic synthesis


Get to know us: Assistant Professor Sandra Kaabel

In this interview we got to know more about Assistant Professor Sandra Kaabel.

Assistant Professor Sandra Kaabel

Chem Awards 2022 are chosen

The School of Chemical Engineering rewards outstanding individuals and teams during the year.

Dean Kruus

A greener route to blue – a new method drastically reduces the amount of solvent needed to produce widely used organic dyes

Phthalocyanines dyes can be produced with solid-state synthesis instead of high-boiling organic solvents.

Koeputkia, joissa on eri värisiä nesteitä.

Five new Marie Curie fellows join Aalto

The prestigious research grants supports international researchers to travel abroad to work.

An autumnal aerial view of Aalto University campus from Laajalahti, autumn colours, yellow and orange, are prominent in the trees

SynTe people

Sandra Kaabel

Assistant Professor

Tatsiana Nikonovich

Postdoctoral Researcher

Open positions at SynTe

PhD Students: Open call (apply until 11.08.2024) for a 4-year doctoral researcher position in solvent-free synthesis of cellulose-based catalysts. Position available from 1.09.2024. More information and the application link can be found here.

PostDoc: No funded positions at the moment. However, if you are interested in applying for your own research funding and want to work in our group, contact Sandra.

Latest publications

More information on our research in the Aalto research portal.
Research portal

Selected research highlights

    Photo of a blue pigment made by solid-state synthesis

    D. Langerreiter, M. A. Kostiainen, S. Kaabel,* E. Anaya-Plaza,* A Greener Route to Blue: Solid-State Synthesis of Phthalocyanines, Angewandte Chemie International Edition2022, 61, e202209033.
    Image: Aalto University/Sandra Kaabel

    Illustration of two different enzymes hydrolyzing fibers in textile

    S. Kaabel, J. Arciszewski, T. H. Borchers, J.P.D. Therien, T. Friščić*, K. Auclair*, Solid-state Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Mixed PET-Cotton Textiles, ChemSusChem, 2023, 16, e202201613.
    Image: Sandra Kaabel and Jane Arciszewski

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