Sustainable wood-based adhesives and coatings

16 February 2024
Adhesivos y recubrimientos sostenibles a partir de corteza de madera

“Circularity will be increased by allowing bark waste, which is normally burned in energy generation, to be diverted to other useful applications”.

TECNALIA explores the natural components of softwood bark with the aim of developing safe, sustainable, high performance adhesives and coatings

TECNALIA is working to create safe, sustainable adhesives and coatings from pine and spruce bark, which are valuable by-products of the forestry industry. Adhesives and coatings with ≥ 95% bio-based content will be developed, tested and validated using advanced extraction technology in the framework of the SuperBark initiative. These will replace fossil-based solutions used in consumer products in industries such as furniture, construction, transport and packaging.

High-performance, safe, circular solutions

The initiative has 12 partners from eight countries, and is coordinated by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. It is aimed at ensuring that new solutions meet industry and consumer standards in terms of performance, safety and sustainability.

Circularity will also be increased by allowing bark waste, which is normally burned in energy generation, to be diverted to other useful applications. This has the potential to prevent the emission of 18 million tonnes of CO2 annually and improve the recycling of 490,000 tonnes of artificial wood products in the EU.

Adhesives and coatings are an integral part of everyday consumer products. However, most adhesives and coatings currently on the market are manufactured using mainly fossil-based petrochemicals, which goes against the EU objective of protecting the health and well-being of citizens and the environment.

Developments covered by the SuperBark initiative

Among other things, the project will develop:

  • Bio-based components for adhesives and coatings from industrial softwood bark, using new alkaline extraction and membrane-assisted separation technologies.
  • Adhesives with a bio-based content of >95% from polyphenols extracted from bark for plywood, chipboard and medium density fibreboard.
  • Coatings with a bio-based content of >95% from bark-based nanofibres and cellulose polyphenols for plywood and paper packaging.
  • Digital tools to support scaling up and integration into the adhesives and coatings market.

The project is supported by the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE-JU) and its members. Funded by the European Union. The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CBE JU. Neither the European Union nor the CBE Joint Undertaking can be held responsible for them.