GREEN CHEMISTRY. Volatile organic compounds are pollutants common to the interior of the homes, which consist, in particular formaldehyde, used in the treatment of the wood. The French company Evertree produces and markets a range of additives, bio-based, which would open the way for wood panel composites of the new generation.
The indoor air quality is a major challenge in the coming years. Many companies are working on the reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOCS) that emanate from common products, such as resins, coatings, paints and building materials or furnishings. This is the case of the formaldehyde present in the wood panel type: OSB, MDF/HDF (medium/high density fibreboard) or particleboard, as some seek to remove, as Evertree.
The French society was based on the work carried out by the startup israeli Biopolymer Technologies with the support of Sofiprotéol (finance and development, a group in April) for the manufacture of additives to the resin from the protein of rapeseed. She explains : “from our technology platform, we identify and isolate the fractions of polypeptides as well as other components essential chemical present within the vegetable meal from the crushing of the grains of the oleo-protein crops“. Thanks to these co-products of the agriculture, renewable and abundant, which have no impact on the food supply, it is developing an entire family of formulas called SynerXiD for industrial use, which “improves the properties of wood panels while reducing, or even eliminating, the use of resins based on formaldehyde or other“.
The benefits are many and endless applications ?
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According to the company, the expected benefits would be many : in addition to the reduction in the use of petrochemical products, the use of these additives bio-based would also reduce operational costs by simplifying the process by an optimized distribution. The amount of product needed would be in fact lower than that of other resins, for a performance that is equivalent in terms of mechanical strength or moisture. Fabrice Garrigue, the president of the Evertree, says : “Our first plant products have been successfully tested at industrial level in the production of wood panel in the United States. Our clients have been able to effectively reduce the use of resins pétrosourcées, including those containing formaldehyde, without altering the process of manufacturing and while maintaining, or even exceeding, the standards of quality and performance“. The products are available in the form of bags of dry powder, ready for use.
Since 10 July, the company has an innovation centre in Venette (Oise), housed within the SAS PIVERT (Picardie Innovation Plant Teachings & Technological Research). A surface area of 1,000 m2, it will need investment of€ 1.5 M and consists of a laboratory protéochimie, a hall application and hall-of-process development and pilot manufacture of the products. Ten jobs have been created, six of which are research positions. And the company should not stay there : it would currently not be less than 50 innovation projects. On its website it explains : “Our platform and the technology developed, opportunities are almost endless applications (…) The products using the technologies Evertree can be used as a binder for the glass fibers, and composites, as adhesives, as structuring agents or as modifiers rheological for foams or emulsions, to name only a few examples“.