TallBoard: Tall oil application in industrial fiberboards

The water stability of fibreboards is generally improved by adding a small amount of paraffin wax to the fibres-mat before applying resin. Paraffin wax is a fossil-based expensive chemical with a high carbon footprint, and it needs to be replaced with more sustainable ones. Tall oil is a byproduct of Kraft pulping, with an average global production of ca. 2 million ton/year. The tall oil feedstocks are used for bio-diesel production, while the refined tall oils are mainly used to produce drying oils, soaps, lubricants, linoleum, paints, and varnishes. Tall oil pitch is the side stream of the refining process with the application as a binder in cement and as an emulsifier for asphalt. The TallBoard project aims to establish a new value chain for forest biorefineries by replacing the fossil-based synthetic paraffin wax with a tall oil pitch-based hydrophobic formula of fiberboards at an industrial scale. This is done to considerably reduce the carbon footprint of the final fiberboard panels. The previous Vinnova-BioInnovation projects illustrated the great potential of using tall oil-based hydrophobic agents in lab and pilot-scale fiberboards, while this project envisages the upscaling potential of the formulas for manufacturing fiberboard panels in full-scale industrial environments by addressing the relevant technological, market and sustainability aspects.

Participants

SunPine, Lawter, IKEA, Linnaeus University (LNU), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Södra (follows the product due to the strategic partnership with LNU).

Budget & time plan

The project’s total budget is 12,5 MSEK and the project runs for 2,5 years – between June 2023 and November 2025.