Development of bio-based wood adhesives with low formaldehyde emission from liquefied crop residues

Phenol formaldehyde (PF) resins are catalyzed poly-condensation products from phenol and formaldehyde. The annual global production and consumption of PF resins is over 3.0 Mt and valued more than $2 billion. However, the World Health Organization’s International Agency has classified formaldehyde to be carcinogenic to humans. Therefore, it is of great interest to produce green PF adhesives with low or no formaldehyde emission. The main objectives of this research project are to develop low-temperature/low-pressure catalytic liquefaction process to produce phenolic bio-oil at a high yield from crop residues, modify commercial PF resin by formulation with the crop residue-derived phenolic oil to reduce the costs of the PF adhesives while markedly decreasing the free formaldehyde emission from the bonded wood products, and design/construct/operate a pilot-scale process for the production of phenolic bio-oils from crop residues. It is expected that, successful completion of this project would contribute to creation of eco-friendly wood adhesive products with sharp reduced free formaldehyde emission, from crop residues. Collaboration in this MITACS project will benefit ACE Econergy Inc with development of new technology and marketable green products and Canada’s agricultural sector by valorizing the abundant crop residues and creation of new revenue streams and employment opportunities.

Faculty Supervisor:

Charles Xu


Shanghuan Feng


ACE Econergy Inc.


Engineering - chemical / biological




Western University



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