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Searching for new bio-based materials

News: May 22, 2017

In Stockholm, at KTH Department of fibre and polymer technology, Ulrica Edlund and Niklas Wahlström explore the potential of seaweed carbohydrates as resources for new bio-based materials. They develop methods for isolating interesting polysaccharides and map their properties.

Starting with frozen algae from the cultivations at Tjärnö, Niklas prepares the algae before isolating the different polysaccharides. The challenge is to use mild methods that won´t destroy the further extraction of other compounds.









Frozen Ulva algae from Tjärnö.                             Freeze-dried Porphyra.





 The algae are milled using a regular
 coffee grinder.



The milled algae are treated with water of different pH and temperature depending on the polysaccharid in focus. After centrifugation the isolated fraction is analyzed.







 Ion chromatography, IC, is one of  several methods used to analyze  the carbohydrate composition in  the algae. 


This graph shows the IC-analysis of a carbohydrate isolate from Porphyra. The peaks tell which monosacharides that are present in the isolate and the amounts. Together with other analyses, this information helps determine the polysaccharide and its qualities.





Carragenan extracted from Porhyra. The high molecular weight makes this carrageenan a promising resource for future applications in for example gels and absorption membranes.


Page Manager: Susanne Liljenström|Last update: 10/10/2016

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