Wood is a natural and renewable material with a huge potential for developing bio-based materials and contributing to a bio-economic society. However, for forest-based materials to compete with fossil-based products, an important challenge is to tackle wood biomass heterogeneity. To find novel solutions, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the plant cell wall construction and deconstruction at the molecular scale. The synergy between biotechnology and nanotechnology offers great opportunities in this regard.
Qi Zhou’s research aims to develop bio-based composite materials with multi-functionalities and well-defined structures derived from wood, wood components and other renewable raw materials, such as marine biomass. In particular, his research focuses on surface functionalisation of natural materials through a combined chemical and enzymatic strategy. The material design includes bottom-up assembly of nanoscale components, which mimics biological structures or the processes controlling their synthesis, and top-down approaches using wood or plant fibres as a large-scale biotemplate for functionalisation at multiple scales. The findings have important applications in the areas of energy storage, sensors, photonic materials, biodiagnostics, and wastewater treatment.
Degree Project in Biotechnology, Second Cycle (BB200X), examiner, course responsible | Course web
Theory and Methodology of Science with Applications in biotechnology (CB1030), examiner, teacher | Course web