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Country:  Sweden
City:  Nacka

Nacka, SE

Job Family:  Innovation
Job Type:  Master-thesis
Division:  Biomaterials

Master thesis - Biobarriers innovation: Improvement of cellulose barrier properties by PVOH

Sustainable barriers are one of our focuses for innovation where we replace fossil-based materials. Come help us develop this area further in our lab in Sickla!

Innovate for a better climate. Every day.

PVOH is a hydrophilic polymer, yet it is known that it improves water vapor barrier properties of cellulosic substrates whether coated on top of the substrate or used as an additive into the cellulosic material making dispersion. Studying the interactions between PVOH and cellulose, and the modification of each of these polymers’ matrices will provide ideas on how to maximize barrier and mechanical properties of the final cellulosic products. The good properties of cellulose-PVOH materials are attributed to the strong hydrogen bonds between hydroxyl functional groups (-OH) of both polymers. However, by increasing relative humidity these bonds are weakened.


This will be done by a study of the improvement of cellulose barrier properties by PVOH. Barrier properties of the cellulosic substrates can be improved by understanding the mechanisms of interaction between cellulose and PVOH through analyzing functional groups and degree of crystallinity in the mixed polymer matrix by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and other complementary characterization methods.
We are offering this master thesis topic and after agreeing with your supervisor you will together plan and design all parts of the project so that it will suit you, Stora Enso and your school. In this project we would like you to work without a thesis partner for best possible results and support from us.

For this position you will be working in our lab at Innovation Centre for Biomaterials in Sickla, Stockholm. You will belong to Biomaterials division and your supervisors at Stora Enso will be our R&D Lab Engineer and R&D Senior NMR Specialist. The project will be executed during spring semester 2023 from January to June and therefor consists of 30 HP (Swedish college credits). 

What we offer
By writing your master thesis with Stora Enso you will get industry insights and valuable contacts for future work life while gaining valuable experience in a leading global company. After finishing your master thesis work with us we encourage you to apply for the offered scholarship from Ljungbergsfonden. They offer scholarships to Swedish university or college students for forestry related projects carried out in collaboration with Stora Enso. Not the least, by joining Stora Enso for your master thesis project you will contribute towards a more sustainable world, as we believe that anything made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow.

Who are we looking for?
We believe that you’re studying in the last year of your master’s program at a Swedish university within Chemical engineering, Analytical Chemistry or Polymer Science. You are fluent in English.

How can you apply for this master thesis project?

To apply for this master thesis topic, we want you to send us an application using our recruitment tool. You will in that tool be asked to attach a CV and answer some questions from us. As we are assessing our candidates on an ongoing basis, we hope to hear from you as soon as possible but latest by October 31st. The project position might be filled before that and then the ad will be taken down. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Employer Branding Specialist Sarah Söder, 


Join the renewable materials company!  
Part of the global bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable products in packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction and paper, and one of the largest private forest owners in the world. Sustainability and responsible business practices are deeply embedded in our strategy. Our low-carbon, fiber-based products are renewable and recyclable. They offer solutions to climate change and promote positive impacts on the environment, thus enabling our customers to become more eco-friendly. 

See what a tree can do in our film: 


We believe diversity strengthens our competitiveness and contributes to better decision-making. Diverse working teams help us to explore different perspectives and challenge our way of thinking. We work actively to increase diversity in the workplace and welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds. Stora Enso is an equal opportunity employer and follows non-discriminatory practices.

Based on the location and level of the position the normal recruitment process could in addition entail, video interview, aptitude tests, and pre-employment actions such as; background checks, references, health check-up and drug test as part of the final stages. You will be informed to what is applicable to the role during the recruitment process. 

Apply now »