Developing new sustainable products for the construcrion industry: Updates from the NewWave project

The NewWave project is progressing smoothly and has reached its 18th month of activities. Last week, project partners gathered for a general update to review and discuss the progress of work and results obtained. Below some of the highlights of the meeting are given:

Fractionation of the Pyrolysis Oil

BTG has successfully fractionated the Fast Pyrolysis Bio-Oil (FPBO) into lignin and sugar fractions. The pyrolytic sugar fraction will be used as a raw material for the production of HMF. The University of Groningen is analyzing the best purification techniques for the sugars, selecting the best three at the end of the process. The best sugar feeds will be produced in larger quantities (~5 kg each) and tested by AVA Biochem.

On the other side, the pyrolytic lignin fraction will be used to produce resins for engineered wood products. BTG has provided FORESA Tech with the first samples at the start of the project. Additional shipments of larger quantities of lignin samples were delivered to FORESA Tech to enable further work on the resin development.

Manufacturing lines

1) Production of Polyols: first batches shipped to AEP, larger quantities are expected to be produced and delivered following new purification tests. Avecom demonstrated that wastewater produced in ML1 line (polyol) can be easily degraded via anaerobic treatment yielding a high biogas production.

2) Production of hydroxymethylfurfural and derivatives: analysis and tests on the production of HMF from pyrolytic sugars is ongoing. The lab-scale hydrogenation reactor setup at TFC was expanded in order to study scale-up effects, to initiate the design of a commercial production unit and provide larger sample volumes.

3) Lignin to Resins: the lignin samples are being characterized and tested. Foresa Tech has synthesized resins for the plywood sector where a 100% substitution of phenol with lignin fractions sent by BTG has been achieved. Plywood panels have also been manufactured with these resins and the manufacturing process is currently being optimized.

4) New modified wood products: Characterization of the FPBO-based formulations received is currently ongoing at InnoRenew CoE. Foreco performed bench scale wood modification, by impregnating the wood samples with the aim to improve their characteristics. InnoRenew CoE reported results related to moisture uptake, dimensional stability, density, mechanical strength, UV stability, fixation of components, and VOCs emission. The durability tests are still ongoing. The characterization campaign aims to select 3-4 best-performing treatments and prepare a set of experimental samples, that will be evaluated regarding their performance in outdoor applications.

Visit at FORECO
After the meeting, partners visited the FORECO plant, where wood is cut, processed, and transformed to realize several products, like playground installations, fences, cladding, and other construction components.