High-grade biopolymers can be obtained from wood, which could replace fossil resources as a base material for a variety of products. However, this requires gentler processes than, for example, the production of cellulose for paper manufacture. So-called ionic liquids are suitable for breaking down wood in a gentle first-treatment step, and for making its components accessible for further processing.
In December 2020, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved for use across the EU, marking a crucial step forward in the fight against coronavirus. The development of this COVID-19 vaccine built on important research that was undertaken by Mainz-based biotechnology company, BioNTech, in collaboration with the Jülich Center for Neutron Science (JCNS). Using neutron scattering instruments operated by the JCNS at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Center in Garching, researchers investigated new approaches for the packaging and delivery of the mRNA. Such experiments provide important insights into the relationship between structural properties, biological activity and the vaccine production process, which will help to advance the development of RNA therapeutics and vaccines.