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Effect of natural lignocellulosic structures on the properties of lightweight materials

Grant number: 23/14118-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2024
Effective date (End): December 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal Investigator:Elisa Silva Ferreira
Grantee:Victória Barros Pinheiro da Silva
Host Institution: Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais (CNPEM). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brasil). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Lightweight materials denominated as foams, aerogels and cryogels, exhibit expanded three-dimensional structures with high porosity. Their composition can be produced through renewable and biodegradable components, such as fibers, cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) and nanocrystals (CNCs). These materials have been the subject of study aimed at different applications, as they present promising characteristics, such as their low density, large surface area, ability to act as thermal insulation and also absorb mechanical energy. The present study aims to evaluate the development of lignocellulosic materials, using foam-forming. For this, two types of biomass will be used, sugarcane bagasse and eucalyptus bark. In the process, the biomasses will be milled and applied without any treatments into formulations of aqueous foams with surfactants and thickening agents (water-soluble polymers). The stability and structure of the wet foams will be linked to the chemical composition and morphology of the analyzed biomasses. The aqueous foams with high stability will be conducted in an oven-drying step for the production of lightweight lignocellulosic materials. The density, porosity, and mechanical properties of the solid foams will be evaluated, and their performance will be related to the natural structure of the employed biomass. Therefore, this project will contribute to the development of renewable lightweight materials with low cost aiming for the replacement of plastic foams in packaging.

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