Institute of

Wood Research

Development of process cascades to improve resource efficiency und maximize the material uses of process wastes and residues

Due to the current global developments (climate change, depletion of fossil resources) renewable resources are increasingly being used for energy and material utilisations. The increasing demands of renewable resources can only be satisfied if efficient exploitation paths exist. An essential prerequisite for high resource efficiency is the complete use of organic raw materials for recycling and energy applications (process cascades). At the Thünen Institute of Wood Research biomass fractionation procedures for the extraction of platform chemicals have been developed and optimized. In terms of sustainability novel composites, bio-based polymers and adhesives as well as improved paper and cardboard product are made ​​of fibers, lignins and other by-products and residual materials (hemicelluloses, tannins etc.). Using natural resources in a more efficient way will contribute significantly to the preservation of fossil resources and the dependency on their suppliers.

A particular focus is the use of lignin as a biopolymer for the production of bio-based adhesives, and polyurethane foams and films. The benefits in synthesis provided by nature is used to replace petrochemical-based products partially or completely by natural substances.