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Conference abstract2007

WURC - En översikt

Daniel, Geoffrey


WURC- An Overview Geoffrey Daniel Wood Ultrastructure Research Centre (WURC), Dept. of Wood Science, Swedish University Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7008, SE-75007, Uppsala, Sweden ( The Wood Ultrastructure Research Centre (WURC)( hosted by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences was established during late 1996 as a ten-year program to carry out basic research of industrial relevance in the field of wood-fibre ultrastructure. WURC was one of 28 national Centres of excellence set up under the auspices of the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA) and industrial consortia. Other major partners that have participated in the Centre’s activities include STFI-Packforsk, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Chalmers University of Technology (CTH), Uppsala University (UU), Karlstad University (KU), Örebro University (ÖU) and nine forest industry related companies (i.e. StoraEnso, SCA, M-real, Kappa Kraftliner, Korsnäs, Holmen, Södra Cell, Sveaskog, Eka Chemicals). The working model of WURC has been based on interactions between industry and academia at all levels of activity. The annual budget for the program is around 18.0MSEK/year with VINNOVA, industry and the research establishments providing equal 1/3 contributions. Of the industry contribution, ca 35% represents in-kind contributions where industry works directly with WURC scientists or supplies specialized fibre materials for projects. The program has been divided into four phases with continuation dependant on successful international evaluations. WURC’s mission has been to significantly increase the basic knowledge on wood and pulp fibres regarding their morphological ultrastructure, chemical structure and physical properties (e.g. strength) and to determine how these properties change after different chemical, mechanical and enzymatic treatments. The research conducted initially was mainly fundamental in character. In later phases WURC has added more applied projects, and the tools developed from the more fundamental projects. WURC has provided an opportunity for specialists from a number of widely different disciplines to cooperate and build a united body to carry out research on wood fibre structure primarily on the micro- and nano-levels; a research area that at the start of WURC was insignificantly developed. WURC’s portfolio was initiated with 5 projects (1996-1998) and by 2001-2004 had quadrupled with over 20 projects within 4 main research areas. WURC has attained a high level of competence during its 10 years of existence. It has become internationally recognized (e.g. through annual international seminars, involvement in European COST actions, publications and exchange of guest researchers) as a major Centre of Excellence interacting with the Swedish pulp and paper industry. By nature of its research, competence and critical mass, WURC has become quite unique in the world. During the last ten years, WURC scientists have been involved in over ca 250 scientific papers (for information see and symposia presentations and at the end of 2006, sixteeen PhD and six Licentiate graduates have defended their theses within the Centre. In addition, WURC regularly organizes major internal industry/academia interactive seminars and numerous other industry-academia project-group meetings. The Centre has also an international advisory group of leading scientists. WURC’s research has involved both broad and highly focussed projects and the program has allowed for the use of a vast array of techniques and methods (e.g. 13C-NMR, AFM, Dynamic and 2D FT-IR spectroscopy, SEM, TEM, ESEM and EDXA, CLSM, SRXRF, XANES, μ-XRF, microarray analyses, quantum chemistry, MALDI-TOF-MS, XPS, ToF-SIMS, SEC, molecular biology, 3D modelling) for studying aspects of fibre biosynthesis, morphology, ultrastructure and supermolecular structure of chemical and mechanical pulp fibres and their effects on mechanical and physical properties. Some achievements include demonstration of the aggregate nanostructure of wood and pulp fibre cell walls and its important changes during chemical pulping, increased knowledge on the nature of pulp fibre defects; their origin and development during laboratory and industrial fibre processing, and the supermolecular changes in cellulose and hemicelluloses during kraft pulping leading to increased lateral fibre dimensions. Certain projects are also focusing on the structural and ultrastructural basis for differences in energy consumption during the industrial processing of pine and spruce TMP pulps and losses in fibre strength during industrial processing The presentation will provide a brief overview of some of the highlights of WURC’s research and future plans

Published in


Ekmandagarna 2007

      SLU Authors

    • Daniel, Geoffrey

      • Department of Forest Products, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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