Material use of wood as a renewable resource is of significant value in our society. Wood also has an important impact on protecting our climate and environment. Sustainability, resource efficiency, product quality, and innovation are important aspects addressed by the Thünen Institute of Wood Research.
Our research aims at the ecological and economically optimized production of wood-based materials and the sustainable use of wood. The diverse relationships between material use of wood and environmental protection, responsible utilization of wood resources, working and living environment, as well as aspects of health and consumer protection are considered. We are the leading national institute in wood identification; in this context we also assist the authorities in their actions against the trade of protected wood species and illegally logged timber. We consider the impact of predicted climate change on wood quality and we support an extended use of wood to mitigate CO2-emissions by substitution. Our expertise covers the entire wood sector. It provides well-based advice and solutions for policy, society, associations and industry. We do interdisciplinary research and cooperate closely with the Department of Wood Science at the University of Hamburg.
The competence centre is a central contact facility for government agencies, the timber trade, consumers and associations to verify the species of wood and/or wood products and their origin. The competence centre is able to determine wood samples accurately at the genus or species level and can check claims on the geographical origin of an increasing number of tree types.
The Institute of Wood Research closely cooperates with the activity fields mechanical- and chemical technology as well as wood biology of the Wood Science Centre of the University of Hamburg.