In the SUSBIND project, 11 partners from science and industry are jointly researching bio-based binders for wood-based materials.
Wood K plus leads a work package on the development of a new technology for the production of carbohydrate-based binders. The selection of suitable chemicals as well as the successful implementation of a production process for a carbohydrate-based precursor was confirmed in the intermediate project evaluation in February 2020.
The conversion of fructose to the platform chemical 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural is a promising approach (Fig. 1) that was successfully implemented in a continuous microreactor as well as a pressurized batch (Fig. 2). The synthesis was designed in accordance with the principles of green chemistry, as such no hazardous solvents or catalysts were used.
The reaction is based on the acidic dehydratization of a fructose solution using sulfuric acid as catalyst and water as solvent. The produced precursor solution, containing minor amounts of side-products, can be used directly in the adhesive production. This in-situ approach ensures that no additional purification steps are needed. The “waste stream” of the process is water that is separated in a concentration step. The project is continued with the development of adhesives for wood composites.