Project: Application of new biorefinery lignin-based adhesives in the wood panel industry

The project envisages a mobility of professor Stergios Adamopoulos (20 % work time) from Linnaeus University to IKEA. The aim is to develop wood panel adhesives based on biorefinery lignin, with a focus on solving the relevant practical parameters for their application in the wood industry.

This project was concluded in 2021.

Project information

Project manager
Stergios Adamopoulos
Other project members
Reza Hosseinpourpia and Wen Jiang, Linnaeus University
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University, IKEA of Sweden AB, IKEA Industry AB
Formas (Increased mobility between academy and practice, 2019)
1 Dec 2019–30 Nov 2021
Forestry and wood technology (Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Faculty of Technology)

More about the project

In order to cope with increasing consumer awareness, legal requirements and alarming climate change, innovative advancements in the wood panel production are needed to reduce fossil-fuel dependency and negative health impacts of formaldehyde used in current binders.

Thus, there is a big interest towards more eco-friendly adhesives. However, the industry has found it difficult to introduce these due to issues relating mainly with performance, costs and appropriate cross-linking.

Non-sulfur biorefinery lignins are promising materials for wood panel adhesives, since they are typically closer to their natural form than those coming from the more severe pulping processes. These lignin fractions are expected to be available in larger amounts in the future, as a result of the growth in biomass-to-biofuel and biomass-to-sugar conversion industries, and their valorization is needed to achieve a sustainable economy and to reduce carbon footprint.

This project builds on an ongoing collaboration with IKEA, and more specifically on recent results within an industrial PhD study. The study specified characterisation routes of less researched residual industrial lignins as a necessary step to recover these renewable resources for higher-value utilization.