Biopolymer Materials Chemistry
The use of renewable raw materials for the production of both established materials for everyday use and new materials for special requirements is a central aspect of the future bio-economy strategies. Lignocellulosic biomass plays a central role here, as it is by far the most important resource in terms of quantity and is also not used as food.
The research focus of the group "Biopolymer Materials Chemistry" is therefore the chemical modification and conversion of the main components of lignocellulosic biomass - cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin - for use in corresponding materials taking into account sustainability aspects of the "Green Chemistry" philosophy.
The development of bioinspired ultra-light and open-porous materials, equipped with special properties, is a central topic of the research group. Applications, such as thermal super-isolation, energy storage, (bio)sensors, controlled drug release and cell culture technology are in the focus of the work.
To this end, we are working on new derivatization and processing methods, including the use of supercritical fluids, to maintain or specifically modify key parameters of biomaterials, such as biodegradability, biocompatibility, hydrophilicity and oleophilicity. Investigations of (supra)molecular alignment or agglomeration phenomena, coagulation and gel formation of biopolymers help us to develop ordered solid-state structures, stimuli-responsive materials or topologically tailored surfaces.