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Mohini Sain | University of Toronto - Canadá


The present project aims to developing natural fiber reinforced thermoplastics composites and biocomposites with nanocellulose obtained from renewable natural sources. The nanocellulose technology will gather prospective research areas for hybrid composites in Brazil with the manufacturing of a novel class of materials with higher value and improved functionality as a result of synergic combination of their constituents properties. Thus, either the natural fiber reinforced thermoplastics or nanocellulose biocomposites represent alternative ways to high investments demanded to developing technology for new polymers with varying chemical structures and functionality. Marketing of new polymers usually demand drastic changes in petrochemical plants and a long period for acceptation within the polymer processors and assimilation of the new products by consumers. Moreover, concepts based on biocomposites technology have enough eco-appeal required to trigger acceptation in relevant markets such as transportation/automotive, buildings, furniture and shopping containers as currently taking place in other developed countries such as Canada, USA and Brazil in cosmetics and pharmacos. In this scenario, Prof. Mohini Sain is undoubtedly regarded as a top scientist with international recognition and leadership in the area of bicomposites and natural fibers composites being the director of the Centre For Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing at the University of Toronto. Also, Prof. Mohini is responsible for a laboratory with excellent infrastructure dedicated to the study of complex phenomena related to obtaining bioproducts, isolation, purification and characterization of biocellulose, isolation and characterization of microfibrils from roots and natural fibers, laminated films for containers applications and also the development of high performance natural fibers for use in cellulosic composites, biocomposites processing and durability evaluation within other correlated aspects. The possibility of Prof. Sain visit to Brazil is covered of extreme importance, once apart from his sabbatical stay at the Laboratório de Blendas e Compósitos under supervision of Prof. Carlos Alberto Correa, the visit will allow him to contacting with other groups within the Programa de Pós-Graduação stricto-sensu em Engenharia e Ciência de Materiais at Universidade São Francisco. One must point out that this Post-Graduate Program had its Doctorate recently recommended by Capes (August, 2007) and therefore, the visit will open new opportunities for upper level studies in Canada for prospective students through sandwich scholarship programs. The visit will also be important to gather with other research centers in Sao Paulo State which are also interested and developing research in cellulose composites. Among them, are the research groups located at the Instituto de Química de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo (IQSC-USP, São Carlos), particularly the laboratory supervised by Profa. Elisabete Frollini; The Laboratório de Resíduos Sólidos (UNESP/Botucatu) supervised by Prof. Alcides Lopes Leão; The group of biocomposites at the Departamento de Engenharia de Materiais da UFSCar supervised by Prof. José Augusto Marcondes Agnelli, and the nanocomposites group from Braskem S/A at Polo Petroquímico de Triunfo/RS coordinated by Manoel Lisboa Neto. All groups listed above have expressed their interest in Prof. Mohini stay in Brazil during visits realized by Prof. Carlos Correa to those centers, in July/2007. Those groups shall be attending Mohini seminars and technical exchange meetings according to a previously defined schedule. (AU)