Improvement of wood and wood surface properties by chemical modifications with 100% bio-based treatments

The goal of the project is to provide a complete modification process for solid wood, including the synthesis of a treatment agent based on biopolymers from the biomass.

Fiche signalétique

  • Département HESB | Architecture, bois et génie civil
  • Pôle de recherche Matériaux et la technologie du bois
  • Champ de recherche Modification du bois et traitement de surface
  • Durée 01.03.2012 - 31.03.2015
  • Responsable du projet Thomas Volkmer
  • Direction du projet Marion Noël
  • Équipe du projet Marion Noël
    Indre Vitkeviciute
  • Partenaires - établissements de recherche, y c. BFH Bartin University
    BioComposites Centre
    HESB | Architecture, bois et génie civil
    Mines Paris Tech
  • Mots-clés wood modification, chemical grafting, in-situ polymerization, biopolymers, lactic acid

Contexte initial

Those biopolymers are nowadays weel-known and more and more largely distributed on the market, however never used so far as wood preservatives. As polar polyesters, they are expected to show a good affinity to wood. Furthermore, as carboxylic acids, they are able to be grafted on the hydroxyl groups of wood before polymerizing in the cell walls and lumens. Besides, the so-modified wood will be a completely green composite, since entirely based on agro-resources.


The treatment will improve the wood properties, mostly dimensional stability, durability and hardness. It will be based on the association of lactic acid and other monomers like glycolic or succinic acids.


Two different treatment families were distinguished. OLA/OGA treatments were able to diffuse into wood cell wall and showed significant improvement in EMC and dimensional stability. OBS/OBA treatments were not able to penetrate in the cell wall. There was logically limited effect on the dimensional stability of treated wood in that case. Besides, solvent extraction and water leaching indicated that substantial part of the oligomers is fixed into wood structure, in all cases.


Better resistance of OBS/OBA to mechanical solicitations and natural weathering, plus strong potential to improve properties by adjusting treatment conditions temperature (wet thermotreatment), encourages to pursue research with OBS/OBA (on