Ali Naderi at Innventia has been awarded this year's Kompetensutvecklingspris (Skills Prize) from the Gunnar Sundblad Research Foundation. The prize of SEK 500,000 is for development of methods for studies of nanocellulose-based materials.
Ali Naderi is a senior researcher within the Paper Chemistry and Nanocellulose group at Innventia. Nanocelluloses are exceptionally strong materials, putting them in the same class as Kevlar. However, in contrast to Kevlar and other materials based on fossil raw materials, nanocelluloses are produced from abundant renewable materials such as wood. The research and development into various nanocellulose-based applications took off in earnest five years ago when Innventia started the world's first pilot facility for production of nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC), a form of nanocellulose produced through the delamination of cellulose fibres. The use of NFC for the production of electrically conductive paper materials, barrier materials in packaging or as reinforcement in paper, cardboard and composite materials is now being studied.
This prize makes it possible for Ali Naderi to spend five months at Stony Brook University in New York. Along with Professor Benjamin S. Hsiao, an authority in employing X-ray scattering for the characterising of materials, develop methodologies for the study of NFC-based systems. It is envisaged that the methodologies will lead to a better understanding of the modes of interaction of NFC with varying materials.
"It's really exciting! I have been given the opportunity to learn an analysis method that may be of huge value to Innventia's research activities," says Ali Naderi.
"Advanced analysis is important in order to get the full potential of nanocellulose. This allows the new NFC-based materials to seriously compete by their unique properties, says Anna Wiberg, Research Manager in Paper Chemistry and Nanocellulose at Innventia.
The prize will be awarded by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden on 12 April during Skogsnäringsveckan (Forestry Week) in Stockholm. For more information, visit www.forestindustries.se.
About the prize
The Gunnar Sundblad Research Foundation's Skills Prize has been awarded annually since 2007. The prize aims to promote the development of the Swedish pulp and paper industry towards new and improved products and services that can meet today's increasingly tough competition. The prize enables a researcher from the Swedish research and innovation system to work at a foreign research environment in order to develop, make contacts and bring home new knowledge. The Gunnar Sundblad Research Foundation Board is appointed by the Swedish Forest Industries Federation Board.