Renewable hydrophobing agents for fibreboards based on tall oil – step 1

The project tested the risky hypothesis that the enhancement of water resistance and inter-fibre strength of cellulosic fibres by refined derivatives of crude tall oil can be transferred to commercial fibre-based products such as fibreboards (high density fibreboards, HDF).

Five tall oil fractions (TOFs) were capable of improving the water sorption and mechanical strength of natural fibres. Then, the effects of the TOF formulations on HDF panels’ properties were evaluated by means of mechanical and physical performance under European and Asian climate conditions, and compared with results obtained with commercial wax.

Furthermore, based on the performance of the HDF panels, one outstanding TOF formulation was mixed with wax at different ratios to evaluate the synergetic effect of the renewable and petroleum-based hydrophobing agents on the properties of HDF panels.

The overall results confirmed the hypothesis and suggested that TOF formulations have high potential in replacing commercial wax for fibreboard manufacturing. Optimisation of both the preparation and application of TOFs according to industrial requirements is proposed as a next step.


Skogsproduktgruppen at Linnéuniversitetet, SunPine and IKEA Industry.


The project’s budget was 1 MSEK.