Material use of recovered wood

Development of a new process to increase the material utilization of waste wood by chemical disintegration and decontamination.

Background and Content

The largest share of waste wood is currently used for energy utilization. Only few recycling processes are established for waste wood, mainly the production of particle board. The latter processes mostly focus on waste wood assortments with higher value, as otherwise the limit values for specific contaminats set by law may be exceeded. The chemical disintegration of waste wood with chemicals that simultaneously disintegrate and decontaminate therefore is very promising for future circular lignocellulose biorefineries to provide another sustainable raw material source. This raw material can be further transformed into high-value products, circularity and cascading utilization of wood is strengthened and the biogenic carbon can be furthermore stored in carbon-negative products.

Project Objective

Within the scope of this project, a process for the chemical disintegration of waste wood is developed with simultaneous decontamination capability.
The aim is to establish a new circular lignocellulosic biorefinery process to gain non-contaminated cellullose, lignin and hemicellulose from contaminated waste wood. This process increases the added value in the recycling of waste wood by adressing assortments that are more difficult to recycle, by obtaining products of the highest possible quality and furthermore binding the biogenic carbon in the products over the long term. Also, this allows the recirculation of other substances gained by decontamination. Thereby, the cascade use of wood is improved as well as the recyclability of wood itself and all other separated materials. Additionally, the potential of waste wood as a raw material source is unlocked for biorefinery applications, which results in an economic advantage.
The focus is on processes that are as ernvironmetally friendly as possible as well as energy- and resource-efficient.

Project Procedure

Experiments on laboratory-scale are used to identify an optimized process for the disintegration and decontamination of waste wood. The waste wood used and the obtained fractions are analyzed regarding their contaminant content (e.g. copper). The process development on laboratory scale and the establishment of the according chemical analysis methods are prerequisite for the upscaling of the process into the pilot-scale. Product applications of the obtained fractions are also investigated.


The core element of the present innovation is the establishment of a multidimensional solution for a chemical process for a future circular lignocellulosic biorefinery. This simultaneously improves the cascade use of wood, increases the recyclability and enables the further storage of biogenic carbon in carbon-negative materials. Highest standards of environmental friendliness as well as resource and energy efficiency are applied.

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