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Tree bark as a renewable source of wood protection materials for building applications (BarkBuild)

  • PROJECT TITLE: Tree bark as a renewable source of wood protection materials for building applications (BarkBuild)
  • PROJECT LEADER: David B. DeVallence, PhD
  • PERIOD: 01.02.2022 – 31.01.2025
  • BUDGET: €1,655,959.00 (€210,000.00 for InnoRenew CoE)
  • FINANCING: European Union – ForestValue Research Programme and Republic of Slovenia’s Ministry of Education, Science and Sport
  • COORDINATOR: Stockholms universitet (Sweden)
  • PARTNERS: Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry (Latvia), InnoRenew CoE (Slovenia), Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT (Finland), Norsk Institutt for Bioøkonomi (Norway), Warsaw University of Life Sciences (Poland)

Bark protects trees from physical, mechanical and biochemical degradation; however, it is generally considered a low-value waste material from log processing. Within the EU-27 countries, there are approximately 23 million metric tons of tree bark available as an untapped lignocellulosic side-stream that does not compete with food production. The BarkBuild project will use spruce and birch bark as resources to develop new wood treatment formulations and bark-based composites for wooden building materials. Specifically, bark polyphenols and extractives will be used as components within coatings for wood preservatives, fire-retardants and VOC absorbents as well as binder additives within novel biodegradable polymer composites. The project will evaluate and demonstrate the sustainability, safety and potential for the cascading use of bark-derived, modified wood products within the built environment. Demonstration of the final materials should facilitate increased use of wood for construction and building while ensuring safe indoor spaces and preservation of the environment.

InnoRenew CoE project activities

InnoRenew CoE will investigate bark-derived activated carbon and nanoparticle filler materials for both use as composite panel coatings that absorb VOCs and performance evaluation of wood-based composites that include various bark-derived coatings. In addition, InnoRenew COE researchers will assist in the techno-economic analysis and perform life cycle assessment (LCA) of the final coating systems and composites.