Plant-Based Nanomaterials: From Fundamentals to Function
Sustainable nanomaterials have the potential to play a transformative role in reshaping numerous industries including automobiles & transportation, food & drugs, bio-medical devices, packaging and electronics, by improving the recyclability, biodegradability and sustainability of the materials we interact with every day. For more than a century the pulp and paper industry has utilized sustainable materials from the forest, however, to expand and more effectively use our natural resources we must develop new innovative materials and processes. One such innovation comes in the form of nanocellulose as cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs). Extracted from trees, these high aspect ratio, plant-based nanomaterials offer tremendous potential as reinforcing agents, barriers, rheological modifiers, emulsifiers, structural supports and coatings, just to name a few. However, to fully harness their potential, we must develop a deep understanding of their chemistry, properties and behaviour. In this talk we will discuss the extraction, characterization and application of nanocelluloses. We will use a variety of surface sensitive techniques and our knowledge of colloidal chemistry to better understand nanocellulose behaviour in dispersions, thin films and hybrid-composite materials. Controlling assembly and using aqueous-based processes we can develop polymeric and all-cellulose composites along with advanced functional materials such as supercapacitors and smart filters. By developing a thorough understanding of our natural resources, we will be able to tackle emerging environmental challenges and create a more sustainable future.
Bio: Dr. Michael S. Reid is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Polymer and Fibre Technology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. His research focuses on the extraction, characterization and application of sustainable plant-based nanomaterials for fundamental studies and emerging engineering applications such as paper & packaging, hybrid-composite materials, energy devices and filtration. Prior to his postdoctoral work, he received a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Guelph, Canada, a M.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Alberta, Canada, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from McMaster University, Canada. He is the recipient of the NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship as well as an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship.