Bio-based Resins

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In the era of the environmental strain caused by fossil fuels and chemicals, and the increased concern with the long-term security of supply of petrochemicals, considerable interest is raised in resins obtained from renewable resources.

CHIMAR’s efforts are focused on identifying raw materials derived from natural products or by-products, mainly from biomass feedstock, which may replace a considerable quantity of the petroleum derived chemicals used presently in resin synthesis.

An extensive but not exhaustive list of the bio-based materials studied includes: tannin, lignin, lignocellulose, cellulose, spent pulping liquor from paper production, lignosulphonate, biomass pyrolysis oil and its fractions, soy protein, starch, plant/tree protein cardanol, cashew nut shell liquid, liquefied wood, liquefied olive stone, various sugar types (e.g. dextrose, molasses, vinasse), mastic gum, algae products.

The bio-based resins developed by CHIMAR have been tested in the production of wood-based panels with successful results. The resins prepared by substituting phenol with either pyrolysis oil, tannin or lignin have been tested industrially. The wood-panels produced from them had the same properties as the ones produced with common PF resins.

CHIMAR bio-based resins can be tailor made to meet customer requirements. They are compatible with all the additives and all the other adhesive types currently used by panel producers The bio-based resins have competitive cost, very low formaldehyde emissions (down to wood levels) and provide an environmentally friendly and sustainable solution to the panel manufacturers as compared to oil-based resins. CHIMAR is in close cooperation with the producers of the bio-based materials to trace the available feedstock quantities.

Representative bio-based resin technologies provided by CHIMAR are:

Technology for the production of PF-type resins in which over 80% of the phenol required is substituted by lignin. The lignin-based resins are developed for application in various wood panel types as well as special applications like HPL manufacturing. The resin technology can be easily adapted to the various lignin types. No special outfits are required for the production of this type of resins.

Technology for PF-type resins produced by substituting over 50% of the phenol required with pyrolysis oil. Special resin products are developed for application in OSB and plywood manufacturing.

Technology for the production of PF resins in which over 30% of phenol is substituted by tannin. The modified resins are applied mainly in the production of particleboard and plywood. The resins are tailor made according to the available type of tannin and the customer requirements. Moreover, CHIMAR has developed a totally natural tannin binder system for the production of standard grade panels at laboratory scale and is working to scale up the system to the industrial level.

Technology for the production of PF resins in which up to 20% of phenol is substituted by soy. Both soy flour and isolated or concentrated protein are suitable for this application. The modified resins are applied mainly in the production of plywood. The resins are tailor made according to the available type of soy and the customer requirements.

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