Collage of three images: corrugated cardboard, particle boards, cross-laminated timber

Multi-million investment in centre to develop environmentally-friendly adhesives

The BioGlue Centre is a centre of expertise set to accelerate the development of bio-based alternatives to the fossil-based adhesives used today in the furniture, construction, and packaging industries. The centre is a collaboration between three universities and twelve companies from various industrial sectors.

Approximately a quarter of global adhesive production is used in the manufacturing of furniture, wood-based building materials, and packaging. Until now, transitioning from fossil-based adhesives to bioadhesives has been a challenge due to a lack of fundamental knowledge on how to produce high-performing, eco-friendly adhesives suitable for industry use.

A world-leading research environment in Sweden

A centre of expertise named the BioGlue Centre will now speed up the development of bio-based adhesives. Linnaeus University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), and KTH will expand knowledge in this field, working closely with the industry. The vision is to establish a world-leading research environment in Sweden.

What is bio-based adhesive?

Bio-based adhesive is a type of adhesive made from renewable sources like forestry or agricultural materials. This distinguishes it from traditional adhesive products, which are typically based on fossil fuels.

Bio-based adhesives not only promote sustainability across various industries but also reduce environmental impact as they allow the production of healthier products with lower carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere.

"The aim of the BioGlue Centre is to reduce our reliance on fossil-based materials for adhesive production by using renewable materials. This also contributes to the development of healthier products with reduced greenhouse gas emissions", states Reza Hosseinpourpia, associate professor at the Department of Forestry and Wood Technology at Linnaeus University.

Bioadhesive in various products and their environmental impact

KTH will be responsible for understanding raw materials and formula development. SLU is the coordinator for the centre and will provide insights into the interactions between bioadhesives and substrates. Linnaeus University will focus on the application technology of bioadhesives in various products and their environmental impact.

"At Linnaeus University, we will work towards gaining an understanding of how bioadhesives can be used with existing technology across various sectors, which is a critical task. We also need to research the climate impact of products made using bioadhesives", Hosseinpourpia continues.

Multi-million investment supported by Vinnova

The BioGlue Centre is initially set to run for five years, with the possibility of a five-year extension. The total budget for the centre during the first five years is approximately SEK 110 million.

Of this, SEK 36 million is a grant from Sweden's innovation agency, Vinnova. The remainder of the budget is financed by the participating universities and the twelve companies from the industry involved in the project: IKEA, AkzoNobel, Stora Enso, Tetra Pak, Södra, BASF, Lantmännen, IsoTimber, Masonite Beams, Green Furniture Concept, 2D fab, and Swedish Wood.

"All participating companies are working to enhance their sustainability and are therefore keen to accelerate the development of bio-based alternatives", Hosseinpourpia concludes.