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Linn Berglund LTUBio4Energy researcher Linn Berglund of the Luleå University of Technology receives the Vattenfall Prize for Best PhD Thesis 2020, on making nanofibres from bio-based residue. Photo used with permission.Energy utility Vattenfall has acknowledged excellent research on nanotechnology to make bio-based starting materials, with its 2020 Award for Best PhD Thesis at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden.

The research work has entailed breaking down biomass such as bio-based residue into its smallest structural components to obtain so-called nanofibers, making a schematic overview—or platform—for their inherent characteristics and use possibilities and, in a couple of cases, attempts to design applications.

Gaining her PhD in 2019, LTU associate senior lecturer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. thus receives the prize for having developed a platform for mechanically fibrillated (or separated) nanofibers, outlined in her thesis From Bio-Based Residues to Nanofibers Using Mechanical Fibrillation for Functional Biomaterials.

Berglund’s work contains a starting point for evaluating the quality and energy efficiency of using nanofibres extracted from different types of bio-based starting materials, such as wood, pulp or different types of organic residues, in applications.

She has also been part of developing applications from two of the most promising types of residue—namely from carrot juice production and from a form of kelp (brown algae seaweed) called Norwegian Fingertips—to make lightweight foam materials and hydrogels for biomedical use, respectively.

Bio4Energy's foremost material science experts have guided the work, with professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. heading up the team Wood and Bionanocomposites’ Group of which Berglund is part, on the research and development platform Bio4Energy Biochemical Conversion Technologies.

“We are happy and proud to award the Vattenfall Prize to Linn”, said Christer Ljunggren, CEO at Vattenfall Vattenkraft, in a press release from the LTU.

“Linn Berglund’s research is at the absolute forefront and her work will be helping and changing the lives of people for the better”, according to Ljunggren.

Humility and gratitude shone through as Berglund reacted to receiving the prize, in an interview with Bio4Energy Communications;

“I was overwhelmed, happy and in shock when Christer Ljunggren called me up. It means a lot to receive this kind of appreciation for one’s research. It was unexpected”, she said.

The LTU published another press release on the prize ceremony related to this news item. 

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