Summary

Pressed wood panels are composed of chopped or cut wood that are glued together using adhesives. Most of these resins are petroleum based products containing a hazardous chemical: formaldehyde. The acceptable levels of formaldehyde in wood pressed products have been reduced over the past decades due to increased public awareness on its effects on health and the consequent consumer demand for non-hazardous products.

The current situation in Europe is that the Committee for Risk Assessment of the European Chemical Agency has recommended reclassifying formaldehyde from category 2, "probably carcinogenic to humans" to category 1B “substance which is presumed to have carcinogenic potential for humans". This reclassification is expected by 2015 and it will surely have an impact on EU standards with regards to formaldehyde emissions from wood panels. In turn, this will affect the competitiveness of European woodworkers who will be forced to reduce, or even eliminate, the use of formaldehyde resins in wood panels.

The development of efficient renewable resins to substitute petroleum formaldehyde based adhesives is one of the biggest challenges for the Wood Industry.

To do so, the ECO-PRESSWOOD project aims to develop “formaldehyde free” wood based panels that combine bio-based chemistry, nanotechnology and process engineering.

To be cost competitive and environmentally friendly, this new resin will be produced from residues of biodiesel production. The performance of the bio-panels will be increased by ceramic nanoparticles that will provide extra reinforcement. Moreover manufacturing processes will be researched to integrate both developments.

ECOPRESSWOOD INOVATION DIAGRAM;

 

PROJECT BOARD;