High solid content wood foams for thermal insulation

The proposed research aims to develop a new wood foam to be used as thermal insulation in the construction industry. The wood foam has the potential to replace plastic foams and will be made out of unwanted forest residue (pine beetle kill, ash borer kills and forest trimmings) and environmentally-benign additives that impart strength and flame retardancy. Different water-based routes to prepare wet foams and then dry them will be tested. The mechanical, chemical, thermal, and flame-retardant performance of the foams will be characterized. Additionally, the foams will be ground up and reconstituted to demonstrate their recyclability. While the focus is on wood foams for thermal insulation, these foams may also find application in sound abatement, transportation, furniture, separation technologies, and packaging. This research will have social, economic and environmental benefits to Canada and is expected to generate new intellectual property for the partner organization while quickly moving them towards a low cost, scalable and “green” commercial foam product.

Faculty Supervisor:

Emily Cranston


Elisa Silva Ferreira


Plantee Bioplastics






University of British Columbia


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