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

The best crisis is the one you avoid

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
crisisthumbBY GARY CONKLING | GUEST BLOGGER

Avoiding a crisis is a great way to burnish your reputation, increase brand loyalty and become a market leader.


Read more...

Oregon businesses face destruction from future earthquake

The Latest
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
htctthumb1BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.


Read more...

It's a Man's Man's Man's World

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Male tech workers speak out on the industry's gender troubles.


Read more...

Knight Cancer Challenge No Biotech Dream

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The Knight challenge is an important instance of philanthropy. But we should not assume it will magically transform OHSU into a business- and job-spinning engine for the local economy.


Read more...

Beneath the Surface

May 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
0515-goodhacker01 250pxwBY LINDA BAKER

On April 1 I attended a forum at the University of Portland on the sharing economy. The event featured panelists from Lyft and Airbnb, as well as Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Asked about the impact of tech-driven sharing economy services. Hales said the new business models are reshaping the landscape. “But,” he added, “I don’t pretend to understand how a lot of this [technology] works.” 


Read more...

Make the Case

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015

10 briefcases that mean business.


Read more...

Editor’s Note: It’s a Man’s World

Linda Baker
Thursday, April 30, 2015
lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Earlier this week we posted an article from our May issue:  It’s a Man's Man’s Man’s World. The story covered the gender divide in tech from the perspective of male workers. Twitter didn’t like it.


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