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Bio-sourced materials

The bio-sourced materials group develops and characterizes new porous materials derived from natural resources: proteins, polysaccharides or plant-derived polyphenols.

One of the main activities of the group lies in the development of highly porous materials derived from tannins.
Depending on their form (foams, gels, microspheres, monoliths with ordered or hierarchical structures, etc.), these materials may have different uses, such as:

  • thermal insulation or soundproofing

  • impact absorption and vibration damping

  • storage or conversion of electrochemical energy

  • electromagnetic interference shielding

  • adsorption in liquid or gas phases

  • catalysis

These materials, of either a organic, carbon, or even ceramic nature, have a multitude of applications in the fields of energy and the environment.


The bio-sourced materials group is based on the Wood Campus in Epinal, in the premises of the National School of Wood Science and Timber Engineering (ENSTIB).

It is composed of one research director and professor, with one technical staff member. It currently houses 10 doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows.

Group supervisor: Vanessa FIERRO

<i>Highly porous cellular materials derived from tannins prepared: on the left, from a solution of tannins and vegetable oil (like a mayonnaise where one would have removed the oil after hardening); in the center, from a similar formulation but with the incorporation of air bubbles (like whipped cream); and on the right, from a formulation without oil by simple mechanical beating (like a meringue). These materials are extremely lightweight and have pores that are very narrow and are totally connected at the left, much larger and barely connected at the right, and with the two types of porosity in the center. The properties of these materials are, from left to right: mechanical resistance and phonic insulation, catalysis and thermal insulation, respectively. They are all non-inflammable and infusible, natural at the 95% level, non-toxic and cheap. They are the ideal precursors of porous carbons for energy and environmental applications.</i>