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Summer School in Wood Biopolymer Science for New materials from trees”

Summer School in Wood Biopolymer Science for New materials from trees”

Summer School in Wood Biopolymer Science for New materials from trees” SS Åland 2022

Course information:

  • Special edition of a research-based education offered jointly by the Johan Gadolin Process Chemistry Centre at Åbo Akademi University and Wallenberg Wood Science Center
  • A five-day intensive course in Käringsund Resort & Conference Eckerö, Åland, August 28 – September 2, 2022
  • Course code: NM00CN26-3001, 5 Credits (3 Credits, optional), Åbo Akademi University

The course presents the basics, biosynthesis, and comprehensive insights of wood cell wall components, particularly in an aspect of polymer science. As a special edition this time, it covers all the three major wood biopolymers: cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. It is a combined course for PhD students and researchers from academia, research institutes and industry.

Key speakers:

  • Professor Paul Gatenholm, Chalmers University of Technology
  • Professor Eva Malmström, KTH
  • Associate Professor Edouard Pesquet, Stockholm University
  • Docent Anna (Kärkönen) Happonen, LUKE & University of Helsinki
  • Professor Tomas Larsson, RISE
  • Professor Monica Ek, KTH
  • Professor Thomas Rosenau, BOKU University
  • Professor Ilkka Kilpeläinen, University of Helsinki
  • Professor Maija Tenkanen, University of Helsinki
  • Associate Professor Tiina Nypelö, Chalmers University of Technology
  • Docent Anna Sundberg, Åbo Akademi University
  • Professor Chunlin Xu, Åbo Akademi University

Learning outcome:

  • Understand the biosynthesis processes of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin, what monomers are involved, where the biosynthesis is taking place and how the biosynthesis is orchestrated with cell wall assembly and what are the functions of these different wood biopolymers in wood.
  • Understand structural differences between wood biopolymers; cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin.
  • Knowledge about how the cellulose molecules are interacting in wet and dry state. Knowledge about crystalline structures of cellulose and different methods to determine it.
  • Knowledge about chemical and physical properties of cellulose including reactivity in different conditions. Understand the regeneration process and knowledge about derivatization of cellulose and properties of cellulose derivatives.
  • Knowledge about characterization of the structure of hemicelluloses.
  • Structure property relationship of hemicelluloses.
  • Knowledge about lignin structure and crosslinking.
  • Have a big picture how the differences in chemical composition of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin affect the cell wall properties and how they are affected by different biomass fractionation processes and how their inherent properties can be utilized in developing new materials trees

Tentative schedule and contents:

Sun 28.8 Mon 29.8 Tue 30.8 Wed 31.8 Thu 1.9 Fri 2.9
Introduction to Polymer science Cellulose supramolecular structure Hemicelluloses,

Enzymatic modification of hemicelluloses

Carbohydrate chemistry Isolation of Wood biopolymers
Synthetic versus Biopolymers Cellulose, solubility and regeneration Xyloglucans and applications Characterization of polysaccharides Lignin structure
Field study Cellulose, properties Functionalization of hemicelluloses Analysis of polysaccharides Group work
Biosynthesis of wood biopolymers Cellulose, derivatization Material properties of hemicellulose Solution properties of polysaccharides Closing and departure
Arrival Assembly of cell wall Cellulose derivate properties Group work Group work
Evening program Group work Group work Excursion Field activities


Course leaders:

Åbo Akademi University:

Wallenberg Wood Science center:

Course venue:

Käringsund Resort & Conference, Åland


Course fee (including accommodation and partial living expense):

-PhD students from WWSC Covered by WWSC
-PhD students from ÅAU Covered by ÅAU
-PhD students from other Finnish Universities 575 €*
-Representatives from industry and others (if spaces available) 1200 €*

*The final price will be fixed on June 27, when budget is closed.

The course fee includes accommodation for five nights in shared double rooms, breakfast, lunch and supplementary dinner arrangements for selected evenings. The fee also includes also lectures, course material, coffee/tea during breaks and excursion/get-together. It also covers a joint transport from Mariehamn-Käringsund August 28 (afternoon) and Käringsund-Mariehamn September 2 (afternoon). Note! The course participants are requested to arrange the transport to Mariehamn themselves.

NOTE! The amount of participants is limited!


– Register by June 13, 2022 by filling in the electronic form using the following link: https://crm.abo.fi/Events/1571/Apply.


Prof. Chunlin Xu, Åbo Akademi University, cxu@abo.fi, +358 440362088


Memories from Summer School in Wood Biopolymer Science for New materials from trees” SS Åland 2016


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Updated 26.4.2022