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

Greenpeace (temporarily) prevents Shell oil ship from leaving Portland

The Latest
Thursday, July 30, 2015
hangersBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Greenpeace activists suspended themselves from the St. John's Bridge in an attempt to prevent a ship from heading to the Arctic.


Read more...

Aim High

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

We get the education we deserve.


Read more...

Staffing Challenge

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.


Read more...

10 Innovators in Rural Health

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.


Read more...

Photo Log: Waterfront Blues Festival

The Latest
Thursday, July 09, 2015
bluesfestthumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The sweltering weather didn't keep the crowds away. Although the numbers were down slightly from last year, the Oregon Food Bank raised $850,636 to fight hunger.  About 80,000 people attended despite temperatures in the upper 90s.


Read more...

Downtime with Jill Nelson

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play wit the CEO of Ruby Receptionists.


Read more...

Reader Input: Energy Overload

June 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.


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