Tree Frog Forestry News

Support grows for sustainable method for manufacturing composite fiberboard

By Purdue University
June 26, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Composite binders are important materials used in furniture, flooring and other consumer products, but they can pose health hazards. Now, Purdue University researchers have developed a lower-cost, sustainable and greener method for producing composite boards…. Fabrication of many composite boards requires the use of formaldehyde-based resin binders that are released into the home environment over time, posing significant health hazards since formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. “The uniqueness of our method is that we take non-food-based biomass such as wood chips, sawdust or rice straw, and put it through a process to extract lignin-like material that can then be used as the main component in a non-formaldehyde binder system for composite boards,” said James Caruthers, Purdue’s Gerald and Sarah Skidmore Professor of Chemical Engineering. “Our method is sustainable and green because lignin is a waste byproduct and one of the most abundant biopolymers on Earth.”

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