Wood and derivatives protection by novel bio-coating solutions
Project acronym: ProWood

- Carlos Barreiro, Asociación de Investigación (INBIOTEC) Instituto de Biotecnología de León, Spain
- Luis Duarte, LNEG, Portugal
- Edwin Kroke, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany / Saxony
- Teodora Rusu, 'Petru Poni' Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry (PPIMC), Romania
- Håvard Sletta, SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, Norway

The European Union (EU27) woodworking industry consists today of more than 380,000 companies and employs more than 2.1 million workers. The European industrial interest on wood decay processes is both to accelerate (biorefinery) and to prevent wood degradation (decay). While, the hydrolytic degradation processes are extensively studied and improved for biofuels production, the prevention of wood degradation has received less attention, even though, the preservation of wood structures against decomposition is an old challenge. The effect on wood of environmental factors (sun, water, chemicals or fire) and, due to its natural origin, low resistance against biotic agents (moulds, bacteria and insects) cause a progressive diminution of its mechanical properties and biodeterioration. Although, there are products for wood protection available on the market they do not meet the expectations in terms of efficiency, price and long term activity, whereas some of them release toxic substances.

The project ProWood (Protection of Wood) is an interdisciplinary 6-members Consortium of molecular biologists, (bio)chemical engineers and industrial partners selected for their know-how in biotechnology, bio-coating development, wood handling and validation processes. ProWood aims the development of novel solution(s) for wood decay protection under the light of the previous and successful developments and knowledge of the Partners. Thus, the combination of bio-based coating solutions with biological decay antagonists guarantees an industrial-relevant solution. The workplan of ProWood consists of four Research and Analysis workpackages (WP) and one of Management and Dissemination. These WPs cover the process from the initial definition of coating precursors (chemistry) and the biological antagonists (biotechnology) to the combined coating demonstration and validation (industry) and the industrial use (market). Thus, ProWood walks along the entire value chain of wood protection.