Tall oil application in industrial fiberboards

Last changed: 13 September 2023


The water stability of fibreboards is generally improved by adding a small amount of paraffin wax to the fibres-mat before applying resin. Paraffin wax is a fossil-based expensive chemical with a high carbon footprint, and it needs to be replaced with more sustainable ones. Tall oil is a by-product of Kraft pulping, with an average global production of ca. 2 million tn/year. The tall oil feedstocks are used for bio-diesel production, while the refined tall oils are mainly used to produce drying oils, soaps, lubricants, linoleum, paints, and varnishes. Tall oil pitch is the side stream of the refining process with the application as a binder in cement and as an emulsifier for asphalt. The TallBoard project aims to establish a new value chain for forest biorefinery by replacing the fossil-based synthetic paraffin wax with tall oil pitch-based hydrophobic formula at the industrial scale fiberboards and considerably reducing the carbon footprint of the final fiberboard panels. A previous Vinnova- BioInnovation project illustrated the great potential of using tall oil-based hydrophobic agents in lab and pilot-scale fiberboards (TRL6), while this project envisages the upscaling potential of the formulas for manufacturing fiberboard panels in full-scale industrial environment by addressing the relevant technological, market and sustainability aspects, thus targeting to reach TRL7, MRL5 and SRL5. The project anticipates strengthening the global green-competitiveness advantages of the Swedish forest industry, and it highly aligns with social bio-economy strategies by contributing to various global SDGs, e.g. goals 9, 11, 12, 13, through developing more sustainable products and valorization of side-streams from the forest industry.


Project timetable:  2023-06-01 - 2025-11-30

Funders: Vinnova

Project participants SBT: Stergios AdamopoulosAdrien Lettoffe

Project partners: Linnaeus University, SLU, IKEA of Sweden AB, Lawter B.V., SunPine AB  

Total project budget: 12 500 000 SEK 

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