Department of wood science and technology
Type of project
01.04.2022 - 31.03.2025
Project manager at BFDahle Sebastian
In a world trying to adapt to climate change, sustainable and bio-based materials such as wood increase in importance and interest. Currently, many production technologies for wood and wood-based materials include high-energy demands, e.g. for kiln drying, or require the use of harmful chemicals, e.g. for coatings or adhesives. Non-thermal plasma (NTP) treatments are an environmentally friendly alternative, which utilizes only electrical energy to modify the surface and thereby improves the performance of glues and coatings, reduces the use of harmful chemicals, and even allows entirely new production processes.
Such plasmas are widely used in the polymer industry, in the pulp and paper industry, as well as many others, including numerous large and medium enterprises in Slovenia. However, plasma applications are still rarely found in the wood industries. Although used on wooden substrates in academia since the 1970s and despite many benefits found with possible applications of high relevance e.g. on wood protection. Although economic factors do play a role, one hurdle preventing a better uptake of the plasma technology in this sector is given by variances between different specimens and batches. This reveals the incomplete understanding of the underlying process, despite the multitude of scientific studies during the past decades.
In this research project, we will improve the understanding of plasma-wood interactions through numerical simulations paired with experiments on model systems. In this combination of theory and experiments, we will investigate the role of the heterogeneous structure of the wood as well as the porosity. Thereby, the plasma treatment of several classes of materials will be better understood, opening up new and innovative treatments in further fields and applications. Moreover, we will extend three earlier results of plasma treatments for wood coatings, wood glueing, and wood-metal joints and transfer them into application scale. For these applications, we will provide an analysis of cost-benefit and environmental impact, thus enhancing the industrial uptake of the technology.
The phases of the project and their realization
WP1 (PM1-9) Environmental impact analysis of wood PT
WP2 (PM9-12) Preparation of heterogeneous and porous model substrates
WP3 (PM13-24) DBD plasma simulation of heterogeneous model systems
WP4 (PM19-24) Experimental verification of simulations on heterogeneous model systems
WP5 (PM25-36) DBD plasma simulation of porous model systems
WP6 (PM31-36) Experimental verification of simulations on porous model systems
Citations for bibliographic records