pieces of fibreboard with different swelling

Project: Tall-oil based hydrophobing formulations for industrial fibreboards

The aim of this project is to develop, validate and demonstrate water repellent formulations for industrial fibreboards based on green conversion technologies of tall-oil bio-refinery side streams.

This project was concluded in 2022.

Project information

Project manager
Stergios Adamopoulos
Other project members at Linnaeus University
Reza Hosseinpourpia and Wen Jiang
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University, IKEA Industry AB and SunPine AB, Sweden; Lawter Maastricht BV, the Netherlands
Vinnova, Step 2 within BioInnovation: innovative projects of higher risk
1 May 2020–30 Apr 2022
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 dependency, greenhouse gas emissions and negative health impacts of formaldehyde used in current adhesives.

The aim is to develop, validate and demonstrate at an industrial-relevant environment hydrophobic formulations based on tall-oil fractions for industrial fibreboards – following a circular economy approach, that allows tall-oil converting companies to seek valorisation options of their underutilised side streams for higher-margin applications. Economically viable and better performing renewable formulations will increase the marketability and sustainability of furniture products.

In detail, the project aims at addressing all technical, market and sustainability challenges in applying tall-oil based hydrophobing agents in the contemporary fibreboard manufacturing (TRL3 to 6, MRL 1 to 2, SRL 1 to 2). The goal is to bring about several advancements to the current state, such as more sustainable production by replacing a petroleum-derived chemical (paraffin wax), better water-resistance of furniture components, and possibilities to reduce the amount of urea-formaldehyde resin, which is expected to reduce production costs and carbon footprint of the product.

The industry has a central role in the process for integrating the developed concepts into current industrial landscapes, and is represented by some of the most renowned players in the value chain: a tall-oil biorefinery (SunPine AB), a company specialized in rosin chemistry and emulsification technology (Lawter), and a manufacturer of wood panels and mass consumption furniture (IKEA Industry).