Development of a bio-based thermo-chemical treatment for wood modification to improve wood properties and promote ist use as building material

Wood should be more promoted as building material but its hygroscopicity constitutes a challenge to overcome because it leads to dimensional instability, mold growth and fungal decay thus service life decrease and necessary maintenance.


  • Department BUAS | Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering
  • Research focus Material and Wood Technology
  • Research field Wood Modifications and Surface Treatments
  • Funding body COST
  • Duration 01.12.2015 - 30.11.2017
  • Project management Marion Noël
  • Head of project Marion Noël
  • Project partners - research institutions incl. BFH BUAS | Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering
  • Project partners - public sector COST
  • Keywords wood modification, chemical treatment, thermal treatment, biopolyesters, lactic acid, PBS

Starting point

This process is completely innovative and consists in a bulk impregnation of solid wood with liquid oligomers of polylactic acid or polybutylene succinate. After impregnation, the thermo-treatment step under dry or wet conditions will allow the penetration of the polar polyesters into wood cell wall, and provoke the in-situ further polymerisation. Those compounds are extractable from bio-resources and always more of interest for the biodegradable thermoplastic industry.


By reducing the response of wood to moisture, chemical and thermal modification are two options providing improved performance outdoors. The goal is to combine chemical modifìcation of wood by bio-based polyesters and thermo-treatment.

Core competencies

Combining the best performing polyesters with an additional thermo-treatment, which usually leads to significant decrease of mechanical resistance, will allow to improve significantly the wood outdoor performance.