The proposed research is organized through four principal research themes

1. Lignin and nanocellulose-derived lightweight biofoams

  • Develop biobased PU foams, where the polyol functionality will be derived from abundantly available lignin.
  • Reduce the isocyanate functionality used in the foam by incorporating lignin and cellulosic nanofibres in the foam.
  • Catalytic conversion of lignin into polyols
  • Development of lignin/nanocellulose-derived biofoam and process optimization

Dr. Chin, Dr. Master, and Dr. Sain, University of Toronto (UofT);

Dr. Kuboki, University of Western Ontario (UofWO);

Dr. Altenhof, University of Windsor (UofW)

Dr. Rakshit, Lakehead University (LU)

2. Nanocellulose-enhanced ultra-lightweight structural composites

Design and manufacture economically viable ultra-light-weight biobased structural composites for automotive applications by examining the effect of cellulose nanofibre and long fibres as a hybrid reinforcement using an integrated direct long fibre technology (Cellulose nanofibre-DLFT).

  • Optimization of the cellulose of the nanofibre-DLFT technology.
  • Surface engineering of cellulose nanofibers and lignin.
  • Enhancement of the thermal stability of the nanocomposites.
  • Development of hybrid green composites from lignin, cellulose fibres and bioplastics.
  • Lifecycle Analysis
  • Prototype Development

Dr. Sain, University of Toronto (UofT);

Mr. Das, ORNL;

Dr. Mohanty and Dr. Misra, University of Guelph (UofG);

Dr. Oksman, LUT, Sweden

Dr. Nayak, CIPET

3. Nanocellulose-derived flexible and smart materials

Development of nanocellulose derived from flexible and smart materials using nanocellulose composite substrate that can maintain a high optical transparency even after heating at high temperatures of at least 200°C for 3-5 h.

  • Improvement of thermal stability of the flexible substrate.
  • Development of flexible devices.

Dr. Sain and Dr. Mann, University of Toronto (UofT)

Dr. Manuspiya, Chulalongkorn University (CU), Thailand;

Dr. Oksman, LUT, Sweden.

4. Lignin and nanocellulose-derived coatings

Development of industrial coatings using lignin and nanocellulose

  • Developing industrial coating using modified lignin as antioxidant.
  • Developing polyurethane coatings using lignin derived polyol.
  • Developing nanocellulose best coatings.

Dr. Mostaghimi, Dr. Master, and Dr. Sain and Dr. Chandra, University of Toronto (UofT)

Dr. Rakshit, Lakehead University (LU)

Keywords:  Bio-economy, Clean technology, Nano-engineering, Clean nano, automotive, bioproducts