The science and engineering required to efficiently produce new value chemicals and materials from lignocellulosic residues will be developed by an integrated team of chemists, materials engineers and chemical engineers. Lignocellulose will be transformed into a series of products, including unique chemicals and materials that cannot be synthesised in any other way, by utilising the distinctive structure and chemical composition inherent to Australian streams of lignocellulosics. The Hub is made of two platforms: value chemicals and advanced materials.
This platform is aimed at producing quality nanocellulose fibres cheaply from the unique Australian lignocellulosic streams, modifying the nanofibre properties and developing the science and engineering required for new applications in existing markets. We will exploit novel enzymology and green chemistry combined with novel concepts of mechanical treatment, unique to our group, to extract nanocellulose. Pulp made from Australian Radiata Pine (D=20 mm, L=2mm) or eucalyptus fibre (D=8mm, L=0.8mm) present key benefits in terms of dimensions, purity and growth rate over the longer and slower growing fir/spruce and maple/aspen fibre resources of the Northern Hemisphere.
Project 1: Lignin as building block for value chemicals and polymers
Project 2: Valorisation of hemicellulose
Project 3: Advanced characterization of biopolymers and bioproducts.
Project 4: Value products from wood to Levoglucosenone process
Project 5: Value products from black liquor
New technology and concepts will be explored to differentiate and significantly improve the performance and economics of current paper products. This platform will have a strong focus on novel packaging materials that will be fully integrated into the existing highly efficient paper recycling system, but will substitute for current, difficult to recycle packaging such as paper-petroleum-based polymer laminates.
Project 6: Organohalide (AOX) free nanocellulose fibres
Project 7: New Nanocellulose Production Concepts
Project 8: Engineering Nanocellulose Gels for value Applications. Applications in food.
Project 9: Pretreatment of cellulosic material for efficient processing into nanoproducts
Project 10: RFID for intelligent packaging.
Project 11: Novel nanocellulose materials and surface treatment