Dr. Pratheep Annamalai is a polymer and nanomaterials scientist with a keen interest in engineering materials for sustainable living.

He has extensive expertise in both translational and fundamental research using nanotechnological tools towards sustainability. As a senior research fellow at AIBN, he is interested in valorisation of native (spinifex grass) and alternative feedstock into reactive, nanoscale building blocks for improving the performance and utility of materials for infrastructure, agriculture, and food. Thematically, his research focuses on

  • Bioproducts (from lignin and cellulose)
  • Nano-enabled construction materials (cement, gypsum, and bitumen)
  • Engineered polymers (elastomers, carbon fibre),and
  • Insulation materials (rigid polyurethane foam, lignocellulose)

Collaborations and Industry Engagement

  • Bulugudu Limited (Formerly known as Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation) (2016 -)
  • Spantech Building Innovation (2021)
  • Department of Transports and Main Roads (2016 - 2019)
  • Australian Road Research Board (2016 - 2019)
  • Dow Chemicals, MI, USA through UQ-Dow Centre (2014-2015)
  • TenasiTech Pty Ltd (2012-2014)

Under the ARC sponsored project, the collaboration with Deakin University (IFM-Carbon Nexus) involves developing spinifex nanocellulose based carbon-fibre presursors. With ANSTO, the collaboration involves studying the understanding the native spinifex cellulose fibril structure through small-angle scattering techniques.

Within UQ, the collaboration involved with the School Chemical Engineering and School of Civil Engineering is on several engineered polymer and nanomaterials for industrial applications.

Funding

Advance Queensland Research Fellowship (Mid): Easily deconstructed spinifex nanofibres for the enhancement of high performance construction materials (2016–2019) Advance Queensland Research Fellowships

High performance sustainable carbon fibres from Australian spinifex grass (2015–2017) ARC Discovery Project

Key Publications

  1. Valorisation of technical lignin in rigid polyurethane foam: a critical evaluation on trends, guidelines and future perspectives Haridevan, Hima, Evans, David A. C., Ragauskas, Arthur, Martin, Darren and Annamalai, Pratheep Kumar (2021). Valorisation of technical lignin in rigid polyurethane foam: a critical evaluation on trends, guidelines and future perspectives. Green Chemistry, 23 (22), 8725-8753. doi: 10.1039/d1gc02744a
  2. The use of cellulose nanocrystals to enhance the thermal insulation properties and sustainability of rigid polyurethane foam Septevani, Athanasia, Evans, David A.C., Annamalai, Pratheep K. and Martin, Darren J. (2017). The use of cellulose nanocrystals to enhance the thermal insulation properties and sustainability of rigid polyurethane foam. Industrial Crops and Products, 107, 114-121. doi: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2017.05.039
  3. Production of cellulose nanocrystals via a scalable mechanical method Mohd Amin, Khairatun Najwa, Annamalai, Pratheep Kumar, Morrow, Isabel Catherine and Martin, Darren (2015). Production of cellulose nanocrystals via a scalable mechanical method. RSC Advances, 5 (70), 57133-57140. doi: 10.1039/c5ra06862b
  4. Isolation of cellulose nanofibrils from Triodia pungens via different mechanical methods Amiralian, Nasim, Annamalai, Pratheep K., Memmott, Paul and Martin, Darren J. (2015). Isolation of cellulose nanofibrils from Triodia pungens via different mechanical methods. Cellulose, 22 (4), 2483-2498. doi: 10.1007/s10570-015-0688-x
  5. Scalable processing of thermoplastic polyurethane nanocomposites toughened with nanocellulose Amin, Khairatun Najwa Mohd, Amiralian, Nasim, Annamalai, Pratheep K., Edwards, Grant, Chaleat, Celine and Martin, Darren J. (2016) Scalable processing of thermoplastic polyurethane nanocomposites toughened with nanocellulose.Chemical Engineering Journal302 406-416. doi:10.1016/j.cej.2016.05.067
  6. A systematic study substituting polyether polyol with palm kernel oil based polyester polyol in rigid polyurethane foam Septevani, Athanasia A., Evans, David A. C., Chaleat, Celine, Martin, Darren J. and Annamalai, Pratheep K. (2015) A systematic study substituting polyether polyol with palm kernel oil based polyester polyol in rigid polyurethane foam.Industrial Crops and Products66 16-26. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2014.11.053
  7. Easily deconstructed, high aspect ratio cellulose nanofibres from Triodia pungens; an abundant grass of Australia's arid zone Amiralian, Nasim, Annamalai, Pratheep K., Memmott, Paul, Taran, Elena, Schmidt, Susanne and Martin, Darren J. (2015) Easily deconstructed, high aspect ratio cellulose nanofibres from Triodia pungens; an abundant grass of Australia's arid zone. RSC Advances5 41: 32124-32132. doi:10.1039/c5ra02936h
  8. Bioinspired mechanically adaptive polymer nanocomposites with water-activated shape-memory effect Mendez, Julie, Annamalai, Pratheep K., Eichhorn, Stephen J., Rusli, Rafeadah, Rowan, Stuart J., Foster, E. Johan and Weder, Christoph (2011) Bioinspired mechanically adaptive polymer nanocomposites with water-activated shape-memory effect. Macromolecules44 17: 6827-6835. doi:10.1021/ma201502k
  9. Nanoscale particles for polymer degradation and stabilization-Trends and future perspectives Kumar, Annamalai Pratheep, Depan, Dilip, Tomer, Namrata Singh and Singh, Raj Pal (2009) Nanoscale particles for polymer degradation and stabilization-Trends and future perspectives. Progress in Polymer Science34 6: 479-515. doi:10.1016/j.progpolymsci.2009.01.002