STOCKHOLM, Dec. 4, 2017 (Press Release) -Archana Ashok was awarded the Bo Rydin Foundation for Scientific Research grant for Best Master’s Thesis Project 2017. Her project “Textile paper as a circular material” was carried out within the transdisciplinary TechMark Arena master students’ academy at RISE Bioeconomy division.
Bo Rydin Foundation for Scientific Research annually awards a grant for the year's best master's degree project within SCA's strategic areas; personal hygiene products, tissue paper or forest products.
Archana Ashok, KTH, is rewarded for her project “Textile paper as a circular material” which evaluated circularity of a new paper manufacturing concept where the raw material is largely made up of low value fibres from textile recycling plants. According to the circular economy framework, this is a cascade recycling of fibres from the textile industry to the paper industry, forming thus an industrial symbiosis.
Previously, the textile paper material was produced on a pilot scale at RISE and used as the cover of the Global Outlook report A Cellulose-Based Society, demonstrating thus technical feasibility of producing this circular material. Archana's project took the concept to a new level by investigating whether the textile paper is suitable as a circular packaging material for paper bags. In particular, evaluations of technical performance, environmental and economic aspects of the new material as well as market conditions were combined in a multi-dimensional context of circular economy. The result showed that it could be better to use low value textile fibres as a circular material instead of incinerating it, which is a common practice nowadays.
“Archana's project was unique because it was the first time that we both evaluated and quantified the circularity of a new material by applying circular economy framework. Both research and industry actors will be able to use her results as a guideline and inspiration in evaluating their materials and products,” says Tatjana Karpenja, one of the supervisors at RISE.
“The 6 months journey at RISE was really exciting and fun-filled with the TechMark Arena group having lots of discussions and workshops on circular economy,” says Archana Ashok.
This is the second time in three years this prize goes to a student at TechMark Arena. This transdisciplinary academy brings together master students from various backgrounds in order to work on a common theme. This arrangement encourages a broader approach to a topic and ensures a greater exchange of ideas between students and increased knowledge sharing between different projects. Archana’s supervising team involved Tatjana Karpenja, Marie-Claude Béland, Karin Edström, Hjalmar Granberg and Ida Kulander.
Another project from TechMark Arena 2017 was nominated for the award. Emma Dahlgren at Linköping University with her project “Exploring biodegradable electronics”, aimed at an innovative area, using cellulose substrates for electronics, which would bring both environmental benefits and cost advantages. This research field is an expanding research area currently being explored within RISE.