Emerging wood nanotechnologies towards sustainable application and preservation

IRG/WP 23-40959

Q Fu, T Singh, D Elustondo, M Sorieul

Wood is one of the most abundant biomaterials on earth and has been used for construction historically. Although existing wood composites are commercially successful, materials development has not targeted nano-structural control of the wood cell wall, which could extend the property range. The high porosity and permeability of wood scaffold provide excellent opportunities for material infiltration and densification. Recent research breakthroughs on advanced engineered wood products epitomize this material’s tremendous yet largely untapped potential for addressing global sustainability challenges. Wood hierarchical structure and biocompatibility when combined with cutting-edge processing can overcome its weaknesses diverse applications or preservation strategies. Emerging nanotechnologies have explored the great potentials of wood as a next-generation structural and functional materials. This communication discusses the past developments in the wood nanotechnologies field that resulted in functional materials. It also provides a perspective about how nanotechnology could be turned into an asset for making truly sustainable wood products. The main message is that through a combination of sustainable forestry, adherence to green chemistry principles and adapted processes based on emerging nanotechnologies, the wood industry could not only overcome current challenges but also thrive in the near future despite the future challenges. Finally, a perspective is given on technological potentials of combining emerging nanotechnologies and wood preservation.

Keywords: wood nanotechnology, functional materials, biocomposites, emerging applications, wood preservation, delignification

Conference: 23-05-28/06-01 Cairns, Australia

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