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Before choosing courseKF2280 Structure and Function of Biofibres 7.5 creditsAdministrate About course

Basic course on morphology, chemical structure, biosynthesis and physical properties of plant fibres and understanding their connection. The course should further give knowledge about chemical reactions during chemical and mechanical pulp manufacturing and how these change the properties of the fibres. The course should also elucidate how fibre properties affect wood based materials as paper, cardboard, plywood, MDF and masonite.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
* Retrieved from Course syllabus KF2280 (Autumn 2019–)

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

  1. Wood industry, textile industry and their processes, review
  2. Parts of plants and their functions
  3. Fibre types and fibre morphology
  4. Chemical build-up of fibres I, carbon hydrate chemistry, cellulose
  5. Chemical build-up of fibres II, hemicellulose, lignin
  6. Chemical build-up of fibres III, extractives, inorganic materials
  7. Hierarchical structures, biosynthesis
  8. Physical properties of fibres, cell wall thickness, cell wall layers, dislocations (LW)
  9. Pulp manufacturing and pulp characterization
  10. Fibre-fibre interactions
  11. Wood based materials I, paper, cardboard, textile and non-woven
  12. Wood based materials II, lumber, fibre boards, particle board, masonite, plywood, wood based composites (LB).

Course laboratory work. Wood identifying, fibre microscopy, wood based materials

Intended learning outcomes

After the course the student should be able to:

  • Describe the structure of plant polymers lignin, hemicellulose, pectin and cellulose
  • Know and be able to identify different types of plant cells and their biological function
  • Describe differences between hardwood and softwood in fibre structure and chemical build-up
  • Describe how plant polymers are organized on different hierarchical levels from molecular to fibre level
  • Describe the connections between structure and function of different cell types
  • The most important reactions during kraft cook and how these affect the fibre properties
  • Know the build-up of important wood based materials, plywood lumber, MDF and paper
  • Describe the mechanical properties of fibres
  • Describe the nature of fibre-fibre interactions

Course Disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Physical polymer and cellulose chemistry (KF2200)

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • LAB1 - Laboratory Work, 1,5 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 6,0 hp, betygsskala: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Written examination (4,5 credits)
Laboratory work (1,5 credits)

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Gunnar Henriksson

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

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Offered by

CBH/Fibre and Polymer Technology

Main field of study


Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Gunnar Henriksson,, 08-790 61 63