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Nanotechnologies in Wood Research

Materials scientist Hatem Abushammala receives the Sigrid-und-Viktor-Dulger Foundation’s Ecology Award

Freiburg, Jun 02, 2017

Nanotechnologies in Wood Research

Photo: private source

Dr. Hatem Abushammala, from the professorship of Forest Biomaterials at the University of Freiburg, receives the Ecology Award of the Sigrid-und-Viktor-Dulger Foundation for his doctoral thesis. In a dissertation with the title “Novel Ionic Liquid-Mediated Technologies for the Extraction of Nanocellulose Directly from Wood,” Dr Abuschammala investigates how the nanotechnologies can benefit traditional wood science. The Ecology Award comes with 6,000 euros in prize money and is awarded at the Heidelberg Academy of the Sciences and Humanities. It is given each year for theses from the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, or engineering which seek solutions to environmental problems.

Abushammala’s thesis investigates how waste materials produced by the wood-processing industry could be upcycled. He was able to obtain very light, stable nanocrystals directly from the cellulose in the wood. Cellulose is the main component of plant cell walls, where it forms a kind of framework for the cell. Cellulose nanocrystals may help to harden other materials - for example, plastic - in an environmentally-friendly way, while also reducing their weight. The materials then have interesting performance characteristics in various fields of application - from the automobile industry to parmaceuticals. The can also play an important role in implants and other medical applications. Abushammala has filed a patent on his method of using ionized liquids without intermediate steps to obtain high-quality cellulose nanocrystals.

Abushammala studied Chemistry at the Hashemite University in Jordan, then completed his Master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in the United Arab Emirates. He finished his doctorate in 2015 at the Chair of Forest Biomaterials at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Freiburg.

Name: Dr. Hatem Abushammala
Phone: 017679028032