With light, water and carbon dioxide as main ingredients, the forest creates renewable resources. And of the renewable forest raw material we can actually do everything we do today of oil.
What can we make from forest material?
- Multiple-storey houses
- Bio fuel including fuel for vehicles
- Lignin-based carbon fiber can be used for aircrafts, wind turbines and other things that are traditionally made out of steel
- Bio-composites can be used from dashboards and furniture
- Cellulose powder can be used in pharmaceuticals to facilitate the uptake of the medicinal active substance
- Residues from the forest industry can be used for feeding micro fungi (feeding on the sugars in the wood) that in turn can be used as fish feed
- Textiles for clothing and technical textiles used for furniture, car upholestry etc
- Wood can even be made transparent so that it can be used for windows, wood is even stronger than glass and has better isolation qualities
- Electronics can be printed (!) on paper, which can be used to produce smart packing, printed solar components, advertising signs and new types of sensors.
- Nanocellulose (a transparent gel) can be used to texturize food, as emulsifier in paint, as a biobased barrier in beverage cartons, isolation in building and plenty more.
Multiple-storey houses out of wood. Click on the photos to see details. Photos from Swedish Wood.
Future Products from the Forest
Tomorrow’s society needs products that are as much as possible based on renewable raw materials.
Photo and text from Swedish Forest Industries Federation.
In pharmaceuticals, cellulose powder may be used to facilitate uptake of the medicinal active substance.
Electronics can be printed (!) on paper which can be used to produce smart packaging, printed photovoltaics, billboards and new types of sensors.
ComPOT porcelain, a hard and durable composite with recycled fiber.
Bicycle Helmet of Wood
An environmentally friendly helmet made entirely of renewable forest raw materials. The helmet consists of an outer layer of wood veneer and the straps are made of durable paper. The shock absorbing interior consists of foam that resembles the appearance of frigolite but is made of environmentally friendly nanocellulose.
Carbon fiber is a super strong, lightweight material used in racing cars. Today’s carbon fiber is full of fossil carbon. But now scientists in Sweden have managed to make biobased carbon fiber with lignin, which is a residual product from the production of pulp.
Pine oil is a residual product in pulp manufacturing. Now it used to make diesel. A renewable fuel, manufactured here in Sweden with the Swedish forest as a source!
Fabrics of wood fibers are demanded by the fashion industry, but also for technical textiles. For example, it can be used as furniture fabrics, screens, landscaping fabrics or automotive accessories.
Textiles can be made from raw materials from nature. It is not necessarily sustainable, as production processes are often bad for the environment. Lyocell is good all the way: it is wood based, produced in environmentally adapted processes, with low energy consumption.
A Swedish patent, now makes it possible to produce a paper in several distinct layers directly from the paper machine, known as “stratified paper”. For example, making a paper where the surface layer is good for printing, while a layer inside makes it very strong.
PLA paper is a completely degradable “paper fabric”. In the picture it is black, soft and compliant, but it can also be made, for example, hard as plastic or translucent.
“Paper Muscles” is a paper material that moves with moisture or temperature. The movement is completely controllable. For example, it is possible to make packages that open and close themselves.
Cellulose composite has been heat pressed at high pressure with water alone as a process agent. It is very rigid, has better water resistance than plain paper and could replace fossil plastics in, among other things, packaging and panels.
Nanofilms make thin, flexible screens. That’s a great opportunity to make the computers of the future both cyclical and exciting!
Nanogel is made from pulp and is thus a completely natural product with new properties. It is excellent for use in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and low calorie foods.
Foam from Nanocellulose
Foam from nanocellulose is a new Swedish material. It’s super strong and weighs almost nothing. It can be used as shock absorbing material in, for example, helmets.