Wood natural durability an asset to the circular economy of wood industry: valorization of waste from sawmills for the cosmetics sector through the ValorExtr@ct project

IRG/WP 19-10954

N Amusant, J Passelande, D Fernand, J Beauchene, E Houel, M Royer

The French Guiana ‘s forest is characterized by its incredible biodiversity; more than 1200 wood species have been listed to date. Some argue that this diversity would be linked to the hot, humid climate with no seasonal variation, which would be ideal conditions for the installation of a constant "arms race" between predators and prey. Thus, to cope with biotic and abiotic attacks, wood species have developed a variety of more or less effective defense mechanisms in different organs as leaves, trunk.... During heartwood formation associated with the entry of the tree into adulthood, the reserve material from the sapwood is used for the synthesis secondary metabolites. Thus, the biological resistance of the heartwood is due to the absence of carbohydrates, attractive source for xylophageous organisms and the impregnation of the cell walls and the lumens by protective molecules (extractives). Because of their diverse biological properties, they influence many wood properties such as odour, colour, mechanical properties and particularly natural durability. Thus the study of the role wood extractives in natural durability, can be the opportunity to find them various applications. Indeed, for millennia, humans have benefited from this chemiodiversity observed in ligneous plants and use active molecules of natural origin as well to heal themselves as to protect their agricultural productions, their habitat ... French Guiana ‘s forest is therefore a vast reservoir to identify new resources that can be sources of new active ingredients, more respectful of health and the environment. To date in French Guiana, sawmill waste is intended for the production of biomass energy, except it would be wise to upgrade extractives before burning everything. It is in this context that the ValorExtr@ct project was developed, which aims to set up the valorization of forest extractives, from durable wood species. In a circular economy approach, the latter would constitute a link between the wood industry and the biomass energy sector, with the aim of adding value to waste from forest and sawmill. At the same time, this project responds to the new issues related to green technology or green innovation that highlight our society desire to strive for a development model that is fair, supportive, respectful of people and natural resources. ValorExtr@ct project objective is to study functionalities of wood extractives from forest biomass, in particular the related products produced by sawmills, by targeting durable wood species against xylophageous, with a view to promoting them in the cosmetics sector. The identification of the wood species of interest is based on the choice of suitable eco-solvents to extract interest polyphenolics and screening method development of their bioactivity.


Keywords: natural durability, valorization of waste, sawmill, cosmetics, ValorExtr@ct project

Conference: 19-05-12/16 Quebec City, Canada


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