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Electro-kinetic dewatering of nanocellulose

A Master Thesis at RISE Bioeconomy within the DryBoost2020 project financed by the Swedish Energy Agency


Evaluate dewatering of cellulose nanofibers by electro-kinetic filtration.


The pulp and paper industry is looking for new products and materials to increase their revenue. One example of such a new material is cellulose nanofibrils (CNF). CNF is fibrillated and delaminated cellulose fibres and has a potential to be used in a number of different applications, e.g. strength agents in paper and oxygen barriers in packaging. RISE Bioeconomy has been working in this field for several years and has pilot equipment to produce CNF.

CNF has a large specific surface area and the physical dimensions range from nm to μm. Thickening and dewatering of nanocellulose may be very important both in the production of CNF and/or before CNF is used in a specific application but the dimensions of CNF makes this challenging. Depending on the required dry content different separation processes can be used, e.g. centrifugation and cake filtration. To shorten the separation time in cake filtration an external field, such as electric and acoustic fields, may be applied. In this thesis the use of an electric field in filtration of CNF will be studied. An experimental setup has been constructed and some preliminary experiments have been made at RISE Bioeconomy.


Further develop an experimental setup for electro-kinetic thickening and dewatering. Demonstrate electro-kinetic dewatering of CNF and quantify the filtration properties at laboratory scale.

Student profile

A solid background in chemical engineering, e.g. separation processes and physical chemistry, is a prerequisite. Interest in experimental work is vital. Knowledge of pulp and paper processes and/or modelling is an advantage.


January–May 2018


Maria Sedin
RISE Bioeconomy
Stock Design & Tissue
Telephone: 08–676 7132


Maria Sedin
08 676 7132
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