Research at the facility will focus on phenolic resin technology in which phenol is substituted with biobased raw materials, including lignin. The resins, which have favorable flame, smoke, and toxicity properties, will be used in wood panel production.
“The substitution of lignin and other bio-based raw materials for phenol will result in greater use of these renewable raw materials in the coming decade,” says Mark Alness, Senior Vice President, Americas Forest Products at Hexion.
The center is set to open in the third quarter and will include panelboard press “pilot plant” to test the resins in an actual production environment. The plant will mimic a typical commercial wood panel facility.
Hexion did not disclose the cost of the facility, but says it received an investment under Alberta Innovates, a program designed to help diversify the Alberta economy by accelerating growth of the biobased industrial sector.