MENU

Can Wood be Recycled to Make Automobiles and Plastic?

Forests cover more than thirty percent of the planet. Consumers and conservationists alike, understand the value of trees, whether you’re battling climate change or picking out the perfect wood coffee table. However, most people operate under the impression that the only way wood can find a new life is by burning it in a fire.

But thanks to some innovative minds, clean wood recycling may just be the wave of the future. Have you ever asked yourself, “Can wood be recycled?” Well, prepare to be amazed.

The University of Toronto Wants to Save the World

At the moment, the school of Forestry at the University of Toronto is working alongside American automaker Ford to research new means of wood recycling. Led by the Dean of Forestry Mohini Sain, researchers at the University of Toronto have set about recycling wood for use in industries that range from automotive to nano-technology.

In the past few years, Mohini Sain has overseen the production of several life-altering products at the School of Forestry. They’ve been credited with creating a wood-based gel, known as a nano-cellulose, that can help augment everything from makeup to paint, and can even be added to food products like yogurt and gelatin.

On another floor of the school, technicians have built a machine that transforms common wood pulp into styrofoam-like pellets that can be made into a malleable, plastic-like compound that is heat resistant, as well as lighter and stronger than current plastic alternatives. And, of course, the parts they can create from the compound are varied, but currently, they are focusing on the automotive applications behind the product. Cam covers, battery covers, oil pans, and more are all possible with this wood-based plastic compound. They’ve also been working on another material called rigid lignin – a foam that can be used in place of styrofoam inside car bumpers.

Focus on Improvement

However, this wood-based plastic has surpassed its predecessors by not only being lighter, more flexible, and portable – but also renewable. Add this to an arsenal of lighter, stronger and heat resistant qualities, and you’ve got a revolutionary step towards sustainability.   

Imagine one of the world’s most sought-after manufacturing products reproduced with renewable resources. With additional testing and support, these exciting products are making their way toward viable commercial use – provided the University of Toronto continues to fund the currently endangered department.

Embracing the Future Today

While there is still some time until these revolutionary techniques and products hit the market, you can begin to think about the future of state-of-the-art equipment, today. General Kinematics produces the world’s best vibratory equipment for the world of forestry, wood and biomass processing.

General Kinematics Vibratory Conveyors and Feeders for Wood Processing

Our entire line of equipment, from our vibratory screens to our feeders and conveyors are some of the most distinguished in the industry. No matter the demands of your specific small business, one of our processing technologies is sure to make things easier. Contact GK today and start looking toward the future.

Related Recycling News

How to Expand Recycling in Manufacturing Process General Kinematics

How to Expand Recycling in Your Manufacturing Process

Manufacturers are the largest consumers of material that is recycled from end-of-life products and industrial scrap. Manufacturers also can be among the largest suppliers of scrap materials. In most manufacturing settings, there are multiple steps that involve molding or cutting materials before reaching the final product. As much as manufacturers try to minimize waste, it […]

Read More

Open-Loop vs Closed-Loop Recycling

Now, more than ever, it’s important that businesses and consumers recycle manufactured goods due to ever increasing populations and dwindling resources. There are two main types of recycling processes —open-loop recycling and closed-loop recycling—that differ in the overall sustainability of the supply chain of the raw materials processed so it is important to be aware […]

Read More
The Asphalt Shingle Recycling Process General Kinematics asphalt shingle roof

The Asphalt Shingle Recycling Process

The United States produces an average of 11 million tons of shingle waste annually from roofing manufacturers and roof tear-offs. But this 11 million tons accounts for almost eight percent of the total annual construction and demolition related waste. Of that 11 million tons, asphalt shingles—the most popular roofing material in the United States—accounts for […]

Read More