Wood components have been used as a building material for centuries. In light of the growing concern over the environmental impact of human industrial activity, wood has taken on a new importance worldwide. The main advantages of this widely-distributed and renewable resource lie in its versatility, strength-to-weight characteristics, ease of processing, aesthetics, and its sustainability as a green-material. Its bio-polymeric structure, however, renders it susceptible to degradation due to moisture, microorganisms, insects, fire, and ultraviolet radiation. Over the last decade, we have shown that non-thermal plasmas represent a very promising approach for tailoring the surface properties of wood-based materials for both improvement of existing protection systems [1,2] or as standalone treatment for the growth of functional coatings [3-4]. More recently, inspired by the development of advanced methods for deconstructing the de-lignified wood tracheids (fibres) into micro and nano fibres on an industrial scale, we have explored the plasma-assisted functionalization of highly porous microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) films and foams. In this presentation, the scientific and technological accomplishments associated with the surface engineering of these materials for packaging and energy applications are reviewed.
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