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BAMI Projects

Platform 1: Functional Materials

 Project 1. Cellulosic fibre non-woven materials for high performance applications:

• The structure and composition of paper and cellulosic fibre non-woven materials will be engineered for high performance applications including air filtration.
• Multi-layer structure and surface chemistry to optimise capture efficiency will be developed. Applications of special interest include household, industrial and underground mining vehicles, for existing and future markets.
• Paper coated with formulations of nanocellulose/nanoparticle/polymer formulations will be developed as high flux/low cost membrane for water filtration applications.
• The molecular weight cut-off and anti-fouling characteristics for liquid filtration will be controlled through the coating structure and chemical composition.

 Project 2. Super-hydrophobic and super-oleophilic paper for liquid and food packagingsuperoleophilicpaper

• Create super-hydrophobic coating on paper and board surfaces using micro and nano fillers of precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) and Titanium dioxide (Ti02), alkyl ketene dimer (AKD) and alkyl succinic acid anhydrate (ASA)4.
• Investigate the anti-wetting performance of board, which is required to withstand the hydraulic pressure of the liquid it contains, and the controlled wetting performance, which is required for printing.
• The effect of hydrophobised particle surface coverage, size and shape on the forced wetting and the forced de-wetting under the critical conditions of packaging will be quantified and modelled.

 Project 3. Engineering specific barriers with coated paper

• Part A: The development of selective gas barrier properties
• Part B: The development of a nanocellulose coating for reverse osmosis membranes
• Part
C: The development of nanocellulose/nanoparticle composites

 Project 4. Lignocellulose for industrial bioabsorbent

• Controlled oxidation using oxygen or peroxide will be employed to control the carboxylic acid density on lignocellulosic fibres and lignin.
• Composites of lignin and cellulose will be produced for filtration and bulk adsorption applications of heavy metal ions.
• Metal ion absorption tests will be developed and used to evaluate metal absorption capacity.
• Metals will be recovered by one of: metal ion desorption by varying pH, use of chelating agents or reducing metal ions to their element form.

 Project 5. Novel biopolymer applications

• Part A: Development of advanced characterisation techniques
• Part B: Development of nanocellulose-polyelectrolyte complexes

 Platform 2: Green Energy Solutions

 Project 6. Biorefinery opportunities in a Thermomechanical Pulping (TMP) mill. Biorefinery

• The thermo mechanical pulping (TMP) refining process will be investigated as high throughput and low cost biomass pretreatment prior to fractionation in Project 8 or separation and purification in Project 9.
• Methods to recover the hemicellulose oligomers and resin/fatty acid extractives present in the process water will be developed.

 Project 7. Hydroxymethylfurfural from cellulosics

• HMF production and extraction will be enhanced by combining the aqueous reaction phase with an organic extraction phase in a biphasic reactor system.
• Our initial results using dealuminated zeolite beta catalysts showed more than 50 percent conversion of solid cellulose into soluble value added products like HMF. Catalytic reaction will be improved.

 Project 8. Green chemical separation and purification: Engineering development is needed to efficiently fractionate/purify green chemicals without degradation.

• Separate and purify green chemicals derived from cellulose/lignocellulose by distillation and membrane technology. Develop continuous processes.
• Optimise catalytic process for improved selectivity and reaction rate
• Separate, recover and purify green chemical and catalyst. Investigate the levoglucosenone and HMF platforms as models.

 Project 9. Biomass gasification and modelling for energy and chemicals

• Gasify the various biomass streams (plantation, pulp mill) and recycling rejects (plastic, fibres, sludge) - by fluidised bed into a tar-free syngas.
• Quantify the chemical composition and properties of the syngas for energy (combustion, cogeneration) and chemicals synthesis.
• Reform catalytically the syngas into marketable chemicals including methanol, dimethylether and formaldehyde.
• Develop process model combining gasification and catalytic synthesis of chemicals.

 Project 10. Chemicals from lignin: This will use a unique method for creating low molecular weight aromatic compounds from lignin by catalytic 'chemical' depolymerisation using phenols and copper catalysts under mild conditions in water.PROJECT 10

• Different modes of catalytic lignin depolymerisation and oxidation will be explored. Investigate different types of lignins.
• Investigate various types of lignin source oligomers as intermediate for adhesive, polymers and naptha replacement.
• Produce monomers for thermoprocessable lignin based polymers - linear lignin thermoplastic polymers for extrusion and compression moulding from depolymerisation.

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