Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-11-01 - 2025-10-31

We have reached a point where we have to use recycled wood, which is mostly contaminated, to a greater extent because there is a shortage of raw wood in the EU. At the same time, in pulp mills, we produce large amounts of lignin, however, use it mainly for energy purposes. LignoMBB is bringing technology for the production of mycelium-based biocomposites (MBB), during which recycled wood is decontaminated. Secondly, LignoMBB is using lignin, which is currently mainly used for energy and is understood as a by- or waste product, in order to achieve better mycelial growth on the developed substrate. I am the first to suggest enriching the substrate for the production of MBB with lignin, expecting that the addition of lignin will result in better mechanical properties of the MBB. LignoMBB develops materials only from recycled wood and lignin, i.e. it does not use agricultural residues, as is currently common practice, and does not endanger food security. At the same time, it finds application for large volumes of old contaminated wood, which is currently entering circulation. My first objective is to develop a technology for the material use of lignin and a substitution technology of agricultural residues in MBBs with lignin and recycled wood. Then, I will answer the questions: To which extent additional lignin in MBB is consumed by fungi? What are the limits of substrate enrichment by lignin? In accordance with the second objective, I will develop a novel MBB to be used in structural applications. At different stages of the MBB cycle, I will measure the VOC emissions because I am hypothesizing that the production process of MBB can act as bioremediation and decreases VOC emissions from materials. LignoMBB will be implemented at BOKU in Bio-Resources & Technologies Tulln group, where the emphasis is placed on cradle-to-cradle design and brings to this group methods of recycled wood decontamination and production of fully degradable MBB.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-10-01 - 2026-09-30

Photonic structures based on cellulose were discovered in plants, which reflect light at a certain wavelength and develop intensive, durable and non-bleaching colours. The principle can be artificially mimicked using cellulose obtained from wood to create environmental friendly and non-hazardous colourants, and is especially interesting for colouring wood, the colour-resource itself. Commercially available coatings or pigments applied on wood materials are usually synthetic, often hazardous, release pollutants into the environment and hinder recycling processes since they possess different chemical and physical properties. Cellulose nanocrystals extracted from wood are able to create the required photonic structure, and are studied as bio-based alternative for fadeless and durable wood coatings within the aim of the project. Thus, material and surface consist of one material origin, which facilitates reuse and recycling. The production follows the principles of circular economy to contribute towards a more sustainable future. Therefore, cellulose nanocrystals will be obtained from side-products of the wood and agricultural industry and their ability to create colour will be investigated. Their performance regarding improved durability, colour- and UV-stability when applied on wood surfaces will be studied and bio-based non-volatile additives to create a wider colour range will be tested. In cooperation between BOKU, New Design University and international partners, the fundamentals for designing fully recyclable wood products will be explored.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-12-01 - 2025-11-30

Wood F3 stands for firm (=mechanically stable), fire-resistant and formable wood structures. In previous projects (WoodC.A.R., MoveWOOD, CARpenTiER, etc.), on the one hand, the calculability of wood-based materials by means of numerical methods has been demonstrated, making it possible today to calculate and design wood-hybrid materials using state-of-the-art FE-methods. On the other hand, it has been demonstrated in projects (e.g. Strong Cellulose Composites) that high-performance materials can be produced from wood by densification of veneers. Basic studies on biomimetic approaches for the creation of freely 3D-formable wood structures with high fracture energy provided interesting results. Therefore, the objective of the project is to combine the results from the different projects to new ambitious targets, thus creating the possibility to create high quality and high-performance bio-composites from low value hardwood resources to meet the requirements of the aircraft and automotive industries. Two basic construction principles of wood-based composites are followed for the production of highly densified wood composites: Strand or particle-based materials and veneer-based shell structures. If necessary, the developed materials and structures will be reinforced with (natural) fibres and combined with other materials (metals, plastics). In addition to the ambitious scientific goals, the consortium is pursuing the implementation of the results in demonstrators for the aircraft and automotive industries.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations