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Project Description

Bark Valorization into Insulating Foams and Bioenergy

BioFoamBark is an European project on the valorization of softwood bark into insulating foams and bioenergy. The project targets at developing fully bio-based tannin foams in order to substitute petroleum based foams. The tannins are extracted from the bark of prevalent softwood species in Europe. Further components for the foam formulation like glycerol and furfural or nanocellulose can be recovered as by-products from biodiesel and the pulp and paper industry. One aim is to develop foams with excellent properties for application as insulating building materials and for conversion into synthesis gas at the end of the product life. In this project it is also planned to assess the environmental performance, techno-economic feasibility and market potentials of those biomaterials. Therefore the central technological developments will be guided by the sustainability and economic viability of the products.

The consortium is funded by WoodWisdom-Net/ERA-NET Bioenergy program starting February 2012 and for a period of three years brings together an interdisciplinary team of 8 European partners. Prof. Marie-Pierre Laborie from the Institute of Forest Utilization and Work Science (FobAwi) at the University of Freiburg (Germany), also member of the Freiburg Materials Research Center (FMF),co-ordinates the project BioFoamBark. Besides Prof. Laborie and Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Gero Becker from FobAwi, researchers at VTT (Espoo, Finland), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Université de Lorraine, LERMAB (Epinal, France), University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems ISE (Freiburg, Germany), Nova-Institut GmbH (Hürth, Germany) and Ledoga Srl. (San Michele Mondovi, Italy) work actively to develop this cascade utilization for softwood bark. In Finland, three sponsor companies also provide input to the project.

 

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