Dr. Frank Hermanutz and Dr. Tanja Schneck, German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF), Germany, have won the DNFI Innovation in Natural Fibres Award 2022.
The award-winning project is “PureCell – Natural fiber-reinforced composites based on pure cellulose.”
The researchers have developed a patented technology to dissolve cellulose in an ionic liquid to facilitate the production of cellulosic matrix precursors, which are then used to manufacture composite materials. The core concept of PureCell is to use cellulosic fibers as reinforcement with a bio-based cellulose matrix, to create an economical, recyclable, and biodegradable substitute for petrochemical raw materials.
The use of renewable biopolymers is an essential component of a strategy to reduce or eliminate the use of petroleum-based materials in industrial applications. Biopolymer composites made from natural fibres such as Flax, Hemp or Sisal are in many cases a competitive alternative to glassfiber-reinforced plastic composites (GFRP) or aluminum.
The technology is an environmentally friendly process because the ionic liquid can be recycled quickly, with low energy consumption and with a high degree of purity, and can be reused for further ionic liquid spinning processes.
The formal award ceremony to honor Drs Hermanutz and Schneck will be held on Thursday 12 January 2023 during Heimtextil in Frankfurt.
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