Roll-to-Roll Processing of Nanocellulose into Barrier Coatings Webinar

Nanocellulose has gained significant attention due to its abundance, biodegradability, biocompatibility, barrier properties, and functionalization potential. Its use as barrier coating and in films has attracted both academic and industrial interest because of its high impermeability to oxygen, grease, and oils. Nanocellulose has been considered a promising alternative to non-biodegradable plastics and metallic aluminum in food packaging applications.

However, before nanocellulose barrier coatings can be commercialized, several challenges must be overcome. These include high viscosity and yield stress even at low solid content, high drying cost, difficulties in achieving uniform thin coatings in a continuous roll-to-roll process, and high sensitivity to moisture which can lead to deterioration of the barrier properties at high humidities.

The webinar presents strategies for processing nanocellulose suspensions as a barrier coating on paper-based substrates and discusses the challenges expected in the up-scaling of the process.

Speaker: Martti Toivakka, Laboratory of Natural Materials Technology Åbo Akademi University

Martti Toivakka is a full professor and head of the Laboratory of Natural Materials Technology at Åbo Akademi University, Finland. He received his doctoral degree in chemical engineering in the area of paper chemistry in 1998. His research focuses on paper and barrier coating, functional coatings, and the use of paper as a substrate for printed electronics and sensors. He has (co-)authored over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications, was the recipient of 2016 TAPPI Coating and Graphic Arts Division Technical Award and the Charles W. Engelhard Prize and appointed as TAPPI Fellow in 2019. He has organized and been the chairman of TAPPI Advanced Coating Fundamentals Symposium and the European Coating Symposium, both held in Turku, Finland. Furthermore, he has arranged numerous international short courses for industrial professionals and doctoral level students, including the most recent one, “Fundamentals of barrier technology for fibre-based packaging”, held in February 2023.

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