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Fiber Circle

Expanding the raw material base and increasing raw material and energy efficiency in the manufacturing process of wood fiber-based products through fiber fractionation.

Background and Content

The overall objective of the project is to increase material and energy efficiency in the production of wood fiber-based materials. The project is dedicated to a holistic view and evaluation of the production, processing and recovery of wood fibers. In this context, already used and potentially usable raw material assortments for the production of wood fiber-based products in the fields of furniture, wood, lightweight construction and plant cultivation are to be investigated. The starting point for the development of material- and energy-efficient process technology for the production of wood fiber-based materials is the expansion of the raw material base and the optimization of the fiber application. This includes the raw material-related optimization of the pulping parameters in fiber production as well as the characterization of the fiber properties.

The decisive energy and raw material saving potentials are achieved by the concept of product- and process-specific fiber fractionation, which for the first time allows a targeted use of the fibers for the individual application areas.

The increase in performance of the materials produced from the fractionated fiber assortments will be investigated. Finally, the holistic view of wood fiber utilization is concluded by reviewing the recovery and reuse of fibers. The potentials for developing new wood fiber-based materials are highlighted.

Project Goals

  • Raw materials: Expansion of the raw material base in the manufacture of wood fiber-based products by utilizing wood assortments that have not been utilized to date or have been little utilized, or wood assortments that have been considered unusable to date, through raw material-related optimization of the comminution parameters (chip production) and characterization of the chip assortments.
  • Fiber production: Increase of energy efficiency in fiber production by reducing thermal and electrical energy consumption by means of optimized grinding disks and milder pulping conditions. Characterization of fiber assortments.
  • Fiber recovery: Basic fiber or compound material recovery experiments and process optimization of mechanical, thermomechanical and thermohydrolytic processes for wood fiber recovery.
  • Fiber fractionation: increasing material efficiency through fiber fractionation. Fundamental development, verification and validation of various processes for fractionation of wood fiber mixtures suitable for large fiber volumes and thus transferable to a commercial scale.
  • Fiber analysis: comprehensive characterization and description of fibers and fiber assortments produced or recovered from virgin wood. Identification of new resource- and energy-efficient value chains through fiber fractionation and of potentials for targeted recovery of fibers from wood fiber-based materials.
  • Wood fiber-based materials and plant substrates: studies on the processability of fractionated fibers and non-fractionated fibers, and studies on increasing the performance of products made from them. Determination of the usability of recovered fibers with regard to optimal technical and economic use.

 

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