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BioFoamBark - New European Project

A new European project just started at the Institute of Forest Utilization and Work Science (FobAwi).

Prof. Marie-Pierre Laborie, also member of the Freiburg Material Research Center (FMF),coordinates the project BioFoamBark, which aims 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 funded by WoodWisdom-Net/ERA-NET Bioenergy program (Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V. FNR in Germany) starting this year and for a period of 3 years brings together an interdisciplinary team of 8 European partners.  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) will work actively to develop this cascade utilization for softwood bark. In Finland, 3 sponsor companies also provide input to the project.
On May 4th the project Kick-Off meeting took place in Epinal (France) at ENSTIB, the engineering school of wood science and technology, the home school of Prof. Pizzi, one of the project partners.  The project members benefited from the occasion to meet in person and to discuss details and close cooperations for the success of BioFoamBark.
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