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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
2019 - IRG/WP 19-10954
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.
N Amusant, J Passelande, D Fernand, J Beauchene, E Houel, M Royer


Is cascading of harvested wood products really an environmentally beneficial strategy in Finland and Norway?
2020 - IRG/WP 20-50364
The role of cascading wood waste in the bioeconomy is highlighted in the several strategic documents. The European Waste Framework Directive describes a waste hierarchy where re-use and recovery are considered more favourable options compared with energy recovery, and applies strict re-use and recycling targets to household waste and non-hazardous construction and demolition waste. It is not fully clear if setting such targets will result in a positive environmental benefit. The assumption is generally made that cascading of bio-materials is good and incineration is bad. But how true is this assumption and is it universally applicable? This paper discusses the methodology to be used in order to determine the best strategy for the use of end of life wood waste in Norway and Finland. The scenario considered is that of the cascading of wood at the end of life into different product categories as counterfactuals compared to the incineration of wood with energy recovery. The paper considers both the LCA aspects by comparison of the global warming potential of different scenarios, as well as the storage of atmospheric carbon in the materials. Knowledge gaps that need to be covered in order to determine the best approach to utilising wood waste from an environmental perspective have been identified.
C A S Hill, G Alfredsen, M Hughes, L R Gobakken


A new project - Circular use of wood in Norway for improved sustainability and innovation (CircWOOD)
2022 - IRG/WP 22-50369
In Norway, around 12 m3 timber are logged each year. If our society is to succeed in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, it is expected that the need for resources will be significantly greater than that. Recycled wood will be a crucial input factor through new reuse and material recycling solutions. In order to close knowledge gaps related to the availability and quality of recycled wood, the CircWOOD project will investigate aspects of wood use in the Norwegian economy, with particular emphasis on the reuse of wood in construction projects, and recycled wood as raw material in today's wood industry. Research results, especially related to resource access and material flows, will be linked to the facilitation of circular flow of goods, handling, environmental impact, design and production of wood in, and towards, relevant markets in Norway and abroad. The project aims to analyze the sustainability and environmental footprint of the wood-value chain based on strategies and new technologies that contribute to circularity. CircWOOD will identify and investigate ways in which processes can be simplified, by using the latest methods for digital collection, analysis and sharing of data. In addition, the project will address the underlying political frameworks and study the economic impact they have. CircWOOD is an integral part of the Norwegian Green platform project sirkTRE that aims to lift the wood industry and the construction industry towards the holistic circular, green shift.
L Ross, L Huang, E Trømborg, R Modaresi, H Sjøli, C A S Hill


Novel bio-based tannin/furfurylic alcohol thermosets: application to wood preservation
2022 - IRG/WP 22-40959
This project is integrated within the overall context of sustainable development and targets the valorization the wood industry by-products such as polyphenolic extractives, and in particular tannins. The objective targets the use of the same polymer used for production of tannin-furanic foams, but here for wood preservation to avoid the utilization of biocides. The aims is to the design of copolymers based on furfuryl alcohol and condensed tannins. This project was developed in parallel with the project using tannins as cross-linkers during the furfurylation of wood. In this study we aim to use tannins as reticulant but also as a co-monomer to reduce the amount of furfuryl alcohol. Different formulations with variation of tannins and furfurylic alcohol proportions (1:1 and 2:1) and with or without catalyst (maleic acid), with various concentrations in water (between 10 and 50%), have been impregnated in wood. Wood samples modified with tannin /furfuryl alcohol solution presented improved decay durability especially against Coniophora puteana whatever the concentration used and these positive results encourage us to continue this study.
C Gérardin-Charbonnier, E Azadeh, A Pizzi, P Gerardin


Circular letter to all members of WG IV Marine Wood Preservation
1985 - IRG/WP 4122
IRG Secretariat


Eco-tax - A new threat for wood preservation? The Belgian experience
1993 - IRG/WP 93-50001-32
At the end of January 1993, a bill was put for Belgian Parliament related to the introduction called "Eco-taxes" on a series of products, such as packaging for drinks (especially on PVC-bottles), non-returnable articles (shavers, small cameras), batteries, pesticides for non-agricultural use and paper.
G Van Steertegem, F De Jaeger


Hole delimination inside round timber via ultrasonic techniques
1990 - IRG/WP 2358
A fast and economic circular scanning method to localize and evaluate holes inside round timber is presented. This method consists in measuring transit times of the ultrasonic wave by fixing the transmitter probe in the perimeter of the sample, then moving the receiver probe every ten degrees until completion of the circle. The scanning is done with a cheap and light instrument. Tests are made with clear wood samples. First, each sample is scanned by this method. Second, the process is repeated after drilling different holes in the samples. Results show that the method allows to quantify holes size and position in a fast and reliable way.
G Prieto, A Fernández Cancio