NSR / Vera Park
NSR / Vera Park
Sometimes the answer is right in front of you, or in this case, all around you! Particleboard is a panel product used everywhere in your home – your furniture, shelves, walls, the list goes on. By taking a closer look and changing the ingredients, the impact that this can have for the whole planet is staggering. And this is the approach that Mahmood Hameed is taking as head of an NSR innovation project working out of Vera Park, a test bed for green and sustainable solutions in the heart of Helsingborg.
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. As a professor in wood technology and wood industries affiliated to Lund University/Campus Helsingborg, Mahmood is on a mission to create environmentally friendly variants of particleboard using different types of wood waste and natural adhesives.
Today, 90% of Sweden’s wood waste is used as biofuel for heat and electricity, while virgin wood is mostly used in making particleboard. Experimenting with the wood and garden waste left at NSR’s recycling depot, Mahmood estimates that switching to using this waste in particleboard would decrease Sweden’s CO2 emissions by nearly one per cent!
He has demonstrated the possibility of manufacturing innovative variants of particleboard from different types of wood waste bonded with different green adhesive systems (hybrid resin of Tannin and PMDI and animals’ albumin-protein resin). He has also succeeded in using leftover cakes of rape oil as the glue to bind the particles, while also making a product that meets the high European Standards. So, that’s the recycling of two types of material, a better product, and a healthier planet and people. Now that’s innovation!
Mahmood Hameed and Sustainable Business Hub Scandinavia AB have just launched an international research project “Developing formaldehyde-free adhesives based on protein isolated from rapeseed press cake for production of particleboards and wood-panels” in cooperation with Gunnarshögs Gård AB, Lund University, Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Kassel University in Germany and Loick Biowertstoff, GmbH, Kleeschulte GmbH & Co.KG in Germany.
“Our environmentally friendly variants of particleboard will be the wood panels of the future and a welcome product for consumers in terms of health, environment, and sustainability.”
– Professor Mahmood Hameed, Academic Advisor at Vera Park Circularity