An Overview on Wood Waste Valorization as Biopolymers and Biocomposites: Definition, Classification, Production, Properties and Applications
Bio-based polymers, obtained from natural biomass, are nowadays considered good candidates for the replacement of traditional fossil-derived plastics. The need for substituting traditional synthetic plastics is mainly driven by many concerns about their detrimental effects on the environment and human health. The most innovative way to produce bioplastics involves the use of raw materials derived from wastes. Raw materials are of vital importance for human and animal health and due to their economic and environmental benefits. Among these, wood waste is gaining popularity as an innovative raw material for biopolymer manufacturing. On the other hand, the use of wastes as a source to produce biopolymers and biocomposites is still under development and the processing methods are currently being studied in order to reach a high reproducibility and thus increase the yield of production. This study therefore aimed to cover the current developments in the classification, manufacturing, performances and fields of application of bio-based polymers, especially focusing on wood waste sources. The work was carried out using both a descriptive and an analytical methodology: first, a description of the state of art as it exists at present was reported, then the available information was analyzed to make a critical evaluation of the results. A second way to employ wood scraps involves their use as bio-reinforcements for composites; therefore, the increase in the mechanical response obtained by the addition of wood waste in different bio-based matrices was explored in this work. Results showed an increase in Young&rsquo;s modulus up to 9 GPa for wood-reinforced PLA and up to 6 GPa for wood-reinforced PHA.
Publication date: 16/12/2022
Author: Francesca Ferrari
Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14245519