In view of the changing climate, the furniture of the future will have to be sustainable, multifunctional and efficient and today’s designers and manufacturers are starting to explore these areas, paving the way for future developments.
The wooden panel industry currently depends on the use of binders, the most common of which are formaldehyde-based synthetic resins.
Taking into account the circular economy, several initiatives are underway to produce alternative binders from renewable resources, but no biological-based binder on an industrial scale is available yet.
SUSBIND is a collaborative European research and development project and Valbopan is part of the partnership. It tackles the need for more sustainable biological-based binders for wooden panels in the European furniture industry. It is a project in the bio economy research and innovation area that brings together 11 partners from six EU countries – Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Portugal – through research institutes, universities and large and small-sized companies.
The SUSBIND binder aims to contain a lower carbon footprint, at the same time as reducing formaldehyde emissions, thus contributing significantly to improving public health and helping mitigate climate change. Hand in hand with the goals of the EU Green Deal, SUSBIND also supplies technological innovation through the conversion of carbohydrates and vegetable oils in binder precursors using different technologies.
The SUSBIND project covers the whole value chain from the raw material to validation of the production and pilot through relevant research, industry and SME partners. Driven by the needs of mass consumption, it includes major furniture producers and retailers.
Valbopan’s role in the project: The most important challenge facing R&D today is finding good alternative raw materials and natural binders to afford sustainability to products and make them more environmentally friendly. To achieve this aim, Valbopan needs the cooperation of major industrial partners and research institutes that are working in the same field.
As part of the project, at the end of May 2022 the 7th meeting of the partners took place, in Nazaré. The meeting involved several days of learning and sharing, and the participants could see first hand some MDF prototypes resulting from the project.