NSR / Vera Park
NSR / Vera Park
Sometimes the answer is right in front of you, or in this case, all around you. Particleboard is used everywhere in your home – in your furniture, shelves, and walls. Making small changes to the particleboard’s components or construction can therefore make a difference on a large scale.
So what is particleboard? This wood product is usually made by compressing small particles of wood with a binding agent, often formaldehyde-based adhesives. But as this substance slowly leaks into the home environment, it can cause both allergic reactions and even cancer.
NSR has previously conducted a project to investigate the possibility of producing environmentally friendly variants of particleboard from wood waste, and thereby increase the amount of wood waste being used as recycled material. This project also aimed to develop methods for separating and pretreating wood waste at waste facilities.
NSR is now involved in a new project as a continued development aimed at exploring how a residual product from the production of rapeseed oil can be used to develop a fossil-free adhesive system. Rapeseed cake is the name of the residual product that is left over after compressing rapeseed oil. The goal of the project is to develop a bio-based adhesive system, free from formaldehyde, using the protein from the rapeseed cake.
A fossil-free alternative
The bio-based adhesive system shall be used in the production of environmentally friendly variants of particleboard, fibreboard, and wood veneered board. The idea is for this to serve as a fossil-free alternative to conventional binding agents, which are often formaldehyde-based.
NSR’s part in the project is to conduct a market survey of the interest in fossil-free wood products. NSR will also investigate the greenhouse gases emissions when producing an adhesive based on rapeseed cake in comparison to using conventional components, such as animal feed.
One of the reasons why the project wants to produce a bio-based adhesive is to be able to minimise the health risks associated with the leakage of chemicals such as formaldehyde. The project also wants to demonstrate that it is actually possible to replace petrochemical components in adhesives with renewable materials in a cost-effective way.
This is what principal project leader Mahmood Hameed, Professor in Wood Technology at Gunnarshögs Gård, has to say about the project:
“If the project succeeds with developing a formaldehyde-free adhesive in the production of particleboard, this will mean a better indoor environment, and therefore better health, for all people in the world.”
The project is based on a collaboration between experts from different sectors in society (agriculture, waste technology, research, manufacturing industries) in both Sweden and Germany.