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 ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


Read more...

Fixing Oregon’s broken roads

The Latest
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
RUCCostComparison rev4-30BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The technology at the center of Oregon’s road usage fee reform.


Read more...

Stemming the tide of money in politics

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
 jeff-lang-2012-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy.  “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”


Read more...

5 stats about Oregon fireworks

The Latest
Thursday, June 18, 2015
fireworksthumb001BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.


Read more...

6 key things to know about summer baseball in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, June 05, 2015
basedthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.


Read more...

Nine lives

Linda Baker
Friday, May 22, 2015
0f4f7bfBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Roy Kaufmann always lands on his feet.


Read more...

Modern design defines new Portland indoor market

The Latest
Thursday, June 25, 2015
thumbSnøhetta JBPM exterior www mir noBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An international architecture firm known for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York unveiled its plan this week for a modern indoor/outdoor food market at the foot of the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland.


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