The main research activities within Technical Chemistry at the Department are directed towards refining of biomass to industrial products of today and future. Chemical, thermochemical, and biochemical questions engage around 30 scientists in basic and applied research. Many of the scientists have strong contacts with the biorefinery industry, particularly to the ‘Biorefinery of the Future’ in Örnsköldsvik.
The research involves studies of molecular and supermolecular interactions in organic functional materials. Special focus is on conversion of solar energy into electric power and on solar energy driven conversion of water into hydrogen fuel.
The work also concerns cellulose reaction chemistry, where the reactivity of dissolving cellulose is studied in the formation of regenerated cellulose and cellulose derivatives.
The research focuses on formation, transformation and degradation of organic pollutants in thermal processes of various kinds, e.g. incineration, pyrolysis and torrefaction of biomass, combustion and co-combustion of waste, and industrial processes. We also study materials and factions that are currently considered as waste but as by thermal treatment results in high-grade materials suitable for use in innovative technical and / or environmental applications such as e.g. water purification adsorbents.
The research in my group concerns the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy. We study the process of water splitting in natural photosynthesis using biochemical and biophysical techniques, and apply the derived natural principles to the development of artificial catalysts and devices for solar fuel production.
The research projects cover many aspects of industrial and technical chemistry with the focus on heterogeneous catalytic materials, reactor technology and neoteric reaction environments (ionic liquids, super- and near-critical fluids). The goal is to discover new processes, to develop processes suitable for biorefining industry and to utilize the bioresources (particularly forest resources) to create products of high industrial value.
The research projects cover many areas: cellulose chemistry, regeneration of cellulose (II) and synthesis/adsorption of cellulose derivatives. Homogenous synthesis of cellulose derivatives, surface modification of cellulose surfaces, and activation of cellulose are some of the focus areas. Several projects are conducted in collaboration with industry, mainly the local cellulose pulp cellulose derivative manufactures.