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Graduate Student Recognized for Research in Environmental Efficiency

tissue paper art

Abdus Salam, a graduate student studying wood and paper science in the College of Natural Resources, was selected as the winner of the 2015 Valmet Tissue Technology Award. The $25,000 prize award was announced at the Tissue World Conference in Barcelona, Spain, on March 17, 2015.

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.

Environmentally efficient methods to strengthen tissue

The focus area for the award this year was environmental efficiency. Mr. Salam is awarded for his work on modified hardwood pulp for tissue production. The objective of Mr. 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.

“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,” says Mr. Salam.

“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,” says Anders Björn, Vice President, Tissue Mills business unit, Valmet.