Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry

Department:Wood biodegradation and protection

27 Dzerbenes str.
LV 1006 Latvia

Contact email: bruno.andersons@edi.lv

Web page: kki.lv     

Brief presentation of the institution: 
Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry (LSIWC), founded in 1946, is a State R&D institute providing research and testing in the field of wood science, wood and polymer chemistry, biotechnology; applied studies for obtaining innovative products and materials from renewable raw material resources – wood and plant biomass. The LSIWC mission is the development of knowledge-based, environment-friendly low-waste technologies for obtaining competitive materials and products from wood and other types of plant biomass for sustainable utilization of natural resources for economic, social and ecological benefits. The scientific activities of LSIWC were supported by several EU FP5, FP6, FP7, EraNet Matera, WoodWisdom and COST programmes and projects. In recent years, the demand for environment-friendly products from renewable resources has considerably increased, especially in industrially advanced countries. The main priorities of the multidisciplinary scientific activities are: - a biorefinery approach for producing chemical compounds and products from wood and wood components, its waste, recyclable materials and other types of biomass; - obtaining of green chemistry products and green polymers from wood and plant biomass and its processing residues; - wood and wood materials with upgraded properties for construction: protection, modification, renovation, maintenance. Biorefinery approaches are employed, with complex use of wood, its components and other plant kingdom renewable resources for obtaining various products. For this purpose, wood hydrolytical, thermochemical, autocatalytic (the so-called “steam explosion”) and biological separating methods are under development, which are linked together by cascade way for wasteless utilization of raw materials. The following urgent avenues of research at LSIWC should be mentioned. One of the schemes embraces polysaccharides’ separation for green chemistry products and converting lignocellulose residues into products, applicable in the national economy. A rationalized hemicellulose separation process is worked out; theoretical principles for an economic and ecological xylose production technology and thermochemical technology principles for obtaining nanoporous carbon materials from the wood hydrolysis processes’ solid residue (lignocellulose) are developed. Potentialities of the complex utilization of hardwood bark for obtaining biologically active compounds and nanoparticles are under study. On the lignin base, interface tension regulators for wood polymer compositions are under development. Using the steam explosion technology, fibres for self-binding building boards are obtained. LSIWC has identified innovation and sustainability in polymer research as major driving forces for the future success. The classical fields of polyurethane (PUR) technologies such as processing behaviour, new renewable raw materials, insulation properties, flame retardancy and lightweight composites will offer even more challenges and opportunities in the future than the achievements of the past. In the context of the current globally increasing tendency to use natural materials, including wood, in the living environment, LSIWC carries out research into the enhancement of the compatibility of wood as a building material, upgrading the flame resistant and durability properties. Polyurethanes (PU) are obtained from tall oil and vegetable oil by different synthesis methods, and their mechanical and thermal properties are evaluated. Flammability of the PU coated wood is determined, adding various commercial flame retardants, including the foaming ones. The most promising products and combinations for decreasing PU flammability, their advantages and drawbacks, including smoke release, are elucidated. Wood as a renewable material with comparatively low energy capacity for wood products’ production and competitive properties increases in demand in construction, civil engineering and living environment. LSIWC has a long-term experience in the study of wood biodegradation and protection with the aim to prolong the service life of wood and wood based materials. Modification methods, among them thermal modification, are under study now. Weathering of modified wood outdoors is being investigated, and coating compositions are being developed for retaining the surface’s decorative and physical properties. Beside the technological developments, LSIWC is seriously engaged in the study of wood biodegradation mechanisms

Main FP1407 related research topics:
LCA, LCI and EPD for wood, thermomodified and impregnated wood, and wood materials (plywood)

Brief information on available facilities:
Equipment available: 
Laboratory rooms with climate control for testing of physical and mechanical properties of materials; for microbiological tests; chamber for materials’ weathering studies. Equipment for investigation of materials’ structure, composition and properties: FTIR; FTIR-ATR; UV/VIS; Py-GC/MS; GC; HPLC; AAS; TGA, DTA, DMA, DSC; microscopy (optical microscopes, SEM); Cone calorimeter; equipment for surface research (optical and surface wettability properties) and investigation of mechanical properties wood, wood polymer composites and polymers. Experimental pilot scale equipment for wood hydrothermal modification, for biomass hydrolysis, biomass pyrolysis, carbonization and activation of charcoal; vapour explosion equipment for biomass disintegration; equipment for polymer synthesis.

Willingness to accept/host visiting researchers:

Projects related to FP1407:
State programme "Forest and earth entrails resources: research and sustainable utilization – new products and technologies” (ResProd)


Member email ESR/ECI WG1 WG2 WG3 WG4
Andersons Brunobruno.andersons@edi.lv-  
Andersone Ingeborgai.andersone@edi.lv-  
Meija-Feldmane Anetea.meija.feldmane@gmail.comECI