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Biobased Materials, Cellulose Fiber: An Efficient and Economical Solution for the Thermal Insulation of Buildings

Submission Deadline: 31 December 2023 (closed)

Guest Editors

Jalel Labidi, senior researcher, Department of chemical and environmental engineering, University of the Basque Country, Spain.

Jalel Labidi, chemical engineer (1988) and doctor in chemical engineering (1992) from the Institut Politechnique of Lorraine (France). He is currently a senior researcher at the department of chemical and environmental engineering of the University of the Basque Country. His research focuses on the development, optimization and integration of biorefinery, and conversion of biomass components into chemical precursors, polymers and composite materials. He has led and participated in numerous projects National and international. He has published more than 300 articles in international journals (H-index: 58).

Fadhel Aloulou, Assistant Teacher, Department of Physics Chemistry, University de Sousse, Tunisia.

Fadhel Aloulou (ORCID: 0000-0002-6586-2328) is an Assistant Teacher in the Department of Physics Chemistry of University de Sousse (ESSHTS). He completed his Ph.D. in physical Chemistry under the direction of Mr. Pr Sami (ORCID: 0000-0002-3153-028) from the LMSE Laboratory, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, Tunisia. His research activities include the chemical modification of cellulose and lignocellulosic materials, the synthesis of functional polymer for colloidal chemistry and emulsion polymerisation and the exploitation of chemically modified cellulose fibres as reusable adsorbent for dissolved organic pollutants. He has published papers in international journals dealing with polymer science and physical colloidal chemistry. Currently it is integrated to: LabEM-LR11ES34: Laboratory of Energy and Materials, University of Sousse, Tunisia. His current professional interests are renewable cellulose, properties of surfaces and macromolecular interfaces, and phase change composite materials reinforced with cellulose nanofibers grafted with fatty acids (PCM) stabilized with surfactants (emulsion). He has published various articles on the interaction of cellulose fibres with an anionic surfactant.

Rachid Bennacer, Professor, Ecole Normale Superieure, France

Pr. Dr. Ing. R. Bennacer, is an Engineer in the Mechanical field (1989), and he got his Ph.D. thesis at Pierre et Marie Curie University (Paris 6) in 1993. He worked as a lecturer at the University Paris XI (1993/94), become an associate professor at Cergy Pontoise University1994 and got his Prof./A. in 1998 and Professor in 2008. He moved as senior Professor to the prestigious school Ecole Normale Superieure (Cachan) since 2010. Since 2003 he assumed several responsibilities, director of the LEEVAM research team (2003-2007), Licence degrees (2008-2010), Aggregation title (2010-2011), Master research degree (2011-2013), Transfer and Environmental Research Unit (within LMT-Lab/ CNRS) (since July 2012) and dean of Civil/Environmental department (Oct. 2012). His research field covers several domains as material science, energy system, pollution and renewable energy with expertise in convection-diffusion problems in porous media. He published in more than 120 international journals (Referenced SCOPUS/ISI), and his H-factor is more than 17. He is a member of several journals’ main boards, administration or scientist councils and organizing committees of conferences. He is an invited professor to several international and prestigious universities.


Nowadays improving the energy efficiency of construction and building materials represents one of the main challenges for research and recent developments in the international community. Innovations in the construction sector are looking for breakthrough answers using smart and intelligent materials, energy-saving concepts and cost-effective solutions, in order to eventually achieve CO2-free technologies. On the other hand, due to the current energy problems, bio-based plant fibers are attracting growing interest as reinforcement in construction materials due to their performance properties and their ability to replace synthetic fibers. Indeed, biosourced fibers have many advantages: abundant renewable resources, and inexpensive and specific mechanical properties of great interest. Many studies on cement-sand composite materials have also used several types of fibers such as cellulose, wood, seeds and agricultural wastes, which are also used as reinforcement products in the field of cementitious matrix composites.

Therefore, the aim of this special issue is to explore the current state of the art, new ideas and new developments on relevant topics that link energy efficiency to construction and building materials. A wide range of research results on various topics, which contribute to better energy efficiency and sustainable use of materials for residential and non-residential buildings, is expected.

The focus of this special issue will be on collecting fundamental studies, experimental research, numerical approaches, analytical tools, design guidelines, etc., for energy-efficient materials and construction. It is the ambition of this issue to stimulate and massively disseminate the latest knowledge on energy and construction and building materials. It will be a basis for new ideas on different topics for young researchers as well as for leading experts in the field of materials science and engineering, and to describe the development of a new ecological and bioclimatic nanocomposite material based on PCM for an application in the building sector as an intelligent material making it possible to regulate heat exchanges in the various compartments of the habitat, and therefore to reduce or even avoid the use of heating and air conditioning systems, which are energy-intensive systems. The idea is therefore to develop energy storage materials at the level of housing envelopes allowing the transfer of energy and adapt production to consumption.


Materials; energy; building materials; storage; energy efficiency; cellulose fiber; renewable materials; phase change materials (PCM); smart building; wood-based materials; cay-organoclay; cementitious nano-composite; sustainable material; mortar

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