The Technical and Economic Feasibility of Organic Binding Materials

Abstract: Logging for hardwood, an activity that continues in subtropical rainforests, is causing deforestation and the destruction of diverse environmental ecosystems. Alternatives for hardwood include synthetic plastics, and particle boards that use synthetic binders such as formaldehydes, both of which has a damaging impact on the environment and human health. Therefore, scientists have been looking for natural environment-friendly binders that can economically and technically replace synthetic formaldehydes in particle boards. Almost all identified natural binders come from botanical sources. Comparison among the various alternatives show that neither alternative has managed to be a complete substitute for synthetic binders for a variability of reasons which in some cases include thermal stability and adhesive strength. The literature also shows that there is a lack of research into animal glue as a potential alternative.

The aim of this research is to contribute to filling this gap by studying the technology readiness level for an animal-based natural binder that is being prepared in the laboratory, reviewing the economic feasibility and potential in the market, and identifying the economic and technical conditions needed for the proposed alternative to be feasible. The results show that there is great potential in utilizing animal-based alternative binders as replacements for synthetic binders. Further research and tests for the physical characteristics of the resulting wood from the binder including the bonding force, bending strength, and cohesion would be needed to confirm the technical feasibility of the animal-based binder.