RISE researcher receives half a million for the production of fossil-free aerogels

Fernando Alvarado, RISE Bioeconomy was awarded with the Competence Development Prize 2018
©Johan Marklund

Fernando Alvarado at RISE Bioeconomy, one of the partners of NanoHybrids, is awarded this year’s Skills Prize from the Gunnar Sundblad Research Foundation. The award of SEK 500,000 will be used to initiate a Swedish research platform for cellulose-based aerogel particles that can, among other things, replace traditional absorbents, thickeners and microplastics. The prize has been awarded by HMK Carl XVI Gustaf on 17 April 2018, during the Forestry Week in Stockholm.

Fernando Alvarado is a PhD in Wood Chemistry and researcher in the field of new products from forest raw materials, products that could replace many of today’s fossil-based materials. The type of products related to this year’s Skills Prize is aerogels.

In Nanohybrids Fernando Alvarado and his team have studied the moisture absorption of cellulose-based aerogels for use in dishwashers.
“The result is fascinating. Our aerogels have a absorption capacity of 120 percent where other materials reach between 10 and 30 percent,” says Fernando Alvarado.
Cellulose-based aerogels also have the potential to replace microplastics, today representing a serious problem in the oceans, in products such as cosmetics and hygiene items.
RISE Bioeconomy is part of the RISE institutes—Innventia, SP, and Swedish ICT.

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