Home Back Issues May 2010 Wood waste flour could create a new building material

Wood waste flour could create a new building material

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
NEXT
GRAPHICS BY AMBER TAYLOR

Lumber mills generate tons of wood waste in the twigs, bark, branches and needles not used for lumber. “There is a constant push in our department to find alternative uses for this wood waste,” says Lech Muszynski, an assistant professor in the Department of Wood Science and Engineering at Oregon State University. Muszynski says the waste can be turned into a “flour” that makes a composite hybrid material when mixed with thermoplastic. He is experimenting with using that material for highway infrastructure, such as mileposts, sound walls, dividers and temporary snow fences. Those structures are currently made out of metal, concrete, petroleum-based plastic, or more expensive wood, materials with “a relatively high carbon footprint.” Though the composite is also petroleum-based, it contains less plastic. A small pilot study funded by OSU is being conducted with pavement markers. The study is identifying cost savings, determining the right ratios of wood waste flour to plastic, and studying reactions to ground contact and UV exposure. Muszynski is currently seeking funding and is already discussing commercialization with ODOT, which tells him the material has promise. “It’s not a very complicated or very expensive manufacturing process,” he says. 

AMANDA WALDROUPE
 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 ExtractionGuest 2012-11-08 16:20:44
We should love the planet we live on, and we should respect it. Anything that can be done, such as wood waste extraction, can go a long way to maintaining a good atmosphere.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Political Clout

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Businesses spend billions of dollars each year trying to influence political decision makers by piling money into campaigns.


Read more...

I Know How You Feel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Most smartphones come equipped with speech recognition systems like Siri or Cortana that are capable of understanding the human voice and putting words into actions. But what if smartphones could do more? What if smartphones could register feeling?


Read more...

100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon [VIDEO]

News
Thursday, October 02, 2014

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 11.17.21 AMMore than 5,500 employees from 180 organizations throughout the state participated in the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon project.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peter Lizotte at ACME Business Solutions and Roger Busse at Pacific Continental Bank share their favorite reads.


Read more...

Innovation: a critique

News
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
1008 innovation thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A Design Week panel discussion raises questions about how innovative we really are.


Read more...

Revenge Forestry

November/December 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...

Reimagining education to solve Oregon's student debt and underemployment problems

News
Thursday, November 13, 2014
carsonstudentdept-thumbBY RYAN CARSON | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How do we skill up our future technology workforce in a smart way to take advantage of these high-paying jobs? The answer shouldn’t focus only on helping people get a bachelor’s degree.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS