PFI has established a new organizational structure. In the new structure, the line is composed by the three groups “Research Scientists”, headed by Research Manager Karin Øyaas, “Laboratory”, headed by Laboratory Manager Øyvind Eriksen and “Administration”, headed by Administrative and Financial Manager Greta Sommerschild Wiggen.
In order to strengthen the focus on PFI’s strategic research areas, four focus areas have been defined. For each focus area a senior research scientist has been given the role as Lead Scientist, having the scientific responsibility for this particular focus area.
The four focus areas are:
Fibre and Paper
PFI has considerable experience from research on reducing specific energy consumption in the pulp and paper industry. Application areas include TMP and CTMP refining as well as reduced steam consumption on the paper machine. The strategies for reducing specific energy consumption varies from mill to mill and can include addition of chemicals to the refiner or altered furnish composition. PFI has in-depth knowledge of refining processes, and has experience from a large number of pilot and full-scale trials as well as raw material selection. High quality fibre analysis techniques are valuable tools in PFI’s research. Cost-effective production is an important driver in PFI’s research within paper production. A key competence is the relationship between furnish composition and paper properties, both for board and printing paper qualities. PFI has considerable experience of characterisation of paper structures.
Contact: Lead Scientist Lars Johansson.
Nanocellulose and Carbohydrate Polymers
PFI has considerable research activities within the nanocellulose area. The research include production of, modification of as well as applications for nanocellulose. The application areas are vast, and PFI’s research includes among others paper additives, barriers, rheology modifiers, emulsifiers and biomedical and oil field applications. PFI works continuously for obtaining increased control of both cellulose and carbohydrate polymer building blocks on a molecular, nano and macroscale level. Interactions with other materials are of large importance, and by this our abilities to tailor desired material properties are even broader. PFI has excellent techniques and expertise for the characterisation of material structures, all the way from macroscale to subnano level.
Contact: Lead Scientist Kristin Syverud
Bioenergy and Biorefining
PFI has thorough experience in biorefinery technologies, including both thermochemical and biochemical conversion routes. Concerning direct production of energy carriers, fast pyrolysis has high focus in PFI’s research. The strategy is to convert solid biomass into bio-oil that either can be directly as a heating fuel, or further upgraded into higher value 2nd generation biofuels and/or chemicals. Examples of bioenergy related research activities include development of pyrolysis oil based transport fuels suitable for diesel engines, and development of new solid energy carriers such as torrefied wood pellets.
PFI has also high focus on development of new methods for mild and efficient separation and isolation of the polymeric constituents of lignocelluloses, as well as their conversion to high value-added products. Here, typical R&D activities include co-production of fibre materials and bio-chemicals and new products derived from hemicelluloses, lignin and pyrolysis liquids. PFI possesses an advanced laboratory for biorefinery research, and coordinates the consortium establishing the new Norwegian Biorefinery Laboratory.
Contact: Lead Scientist Kai Toven
The market for biocomposites continues to grow, and is expected to have a significant share in various industrial applications, including structured biocomposites (e.g. building products and automotive industry), flexible biocomposites (e.g. packaging) and in biomedical applications. The utilization of wood pulp fibres and their derivatives as complement in biocomposite materials is a strategic research field at PFI. Key aspects in this respect are the appropriate mixing of fibres and matrix, fibre modification for better compatibility with a given matrix and the corresponding characterisation of composite structures, where PFI has made substantial contributions. PFI performs research on developing novel biocomposites, focusing on the appropriate utilization of wood pulp fibres and nanocellulose materials.
Contact: Lead Scientist Gary Chinga Carrasco