Valmet, Finland, presented its Tissue Technology Award and $25,000 prize to Abdus Salam, graduate student at North Carolina State University. The purpose of the Valmet Tissue Technology Award is to promote university students’ or scientists’ work to develop environmentally sound products applicable to the tissue making processes. The award is granted every second year and the winner is selected by a panel of jurors representing universities, scientific organizations, and Valmet.
The focus area for the award this year was environmental efficiency. Salam is awarded for his work on modified hardwood pulp for tissue production. The objective of Salam’s work has been to develop a method to provide unique tissue characteristics using only natural materials. By modifying hardwood pulp, it can be cross-linked with a biodegradable product to greatly improve absorbency properties. The modified fibers are elastic, very soft, highly porous, and durable, and also have microbial properties.
“We are constantly searching for new innovations to make the tissue process more sustainable and environmentally efficient. Mr. Salam’s innovation is well in line with our strategy and shows how biomaterials can be utilized to add new and improved properties to tissue products. This is an excellent example of how scientists and the academic world can contribute to the important work of developing sustainable solutions for the future of tissue making,” said Anders Björn, VP, Tissue Mills business unit, Valmet.
Research Dedicated to Quality of Life
“I greatly appreciate the award committee’s selection of my research for Valmet Tissue Technology Award of 2015. This is my first international award, which has truly inspired me to develop new products and ideas for tissue and paper towel applications. I believe the research developments related to modifying hardwood pulp can significantly contribute to the personal health care sector as well as the global economy,” Salam said.
Abdus Salam was born in Bangladesh where he received a Ph.D. in applied chemistry at the University of Rajshahi. To improve the standards of sanitation and cleanliness in his home country, Salam he has dedicated his research to improve the quality of life in Bangladesh and similar countries. He has already worked on a water purification system which is now actively marketed for licensing.
Salam has resided in the US for the last 10 years where he has a Post Doctor degree in polymer chemistry from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This past May he defended his second Ph.D. at North Carolina State University focusing on his hard wood pulp research.