Formaldehyde-free bio-adhesive for wood-based materials production

By means of a wood-based panel for interior construction, researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI are demonstrating the application possibilities for a newly developed, formaldehyde-free bio-adhesive.

Wood-based panel with formaldehyde-free bio-adhesive for interior construction. Image source: Fraunhofer WKI.

Wood-based materials such as particle board, OSB, plywood or fiber-based materials (MDF, HDF) are used in large quantities as sustainable building materials in the construction industry and in furniture construction. They are also utilized in vehicle construction and could play a significantly greater role in the future. Amongst other substances, phenol-formaldehyde resins have been used as binders (adhesives) in their manufacture to date. These resins are, firstly, critical to health and, secondly, are produced from fossil raw materials.

Way to replace phenol and formaldehyde

The researchers therefore sought a way to replace the health-critical components phenol and formaldehyde. As a replacement for phenol, the research team successfully tested lignin, the most abundant biopolymer in plant biomass after cellulose. As a substitute for formaldehyde, the researchers tested hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) – a sugar derivative. Currently, HMF is produced on an industrial scale from fructose. At the Fraunhofer WKI, researchers converted lignin and HMF to aqueous condensation resins.

Further information can be found on the Fraunhofer WKI website.

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