Production of an eco-insulating material using tree bark
Wood bark, produced in large quantities in sawmills, is often used to produce energy in inefficient and CO2-intensive processes, composting or landfilling.
Technology for the development of an eco-insulation through compression processes with insulation capacity similar to that of artificial insulators and a higher specific heat than traditional materials based on foam or fibres. Its main added value is its environmental sustainability with a neutral CO2 footprint.
The raw material to be used (wood bark) is low cost and, depending on its typology, will require a specific optimum compression level. Specifically, the bark is pre-dried below 20% moisture content, granulated and finally dried to 6-9% moisture content. An adhesive based on a dilution of urea formaldehyde mixed with an aqueous solution of ammonium sulphate as a catalyst is added and then the resulting material is compressed to the desired density, the optimum being 350kg/m3. In case of medium production volumes, low production costs can be achieved. The most energy-demanding processes of this technology would be drying and transport, so it is important: (1) quality inputs, which should be protected from the weather; and (2) design regional/local production nodes to reduce transport costs. Similar products are already available on the European market, and in the case of these eco-insulators, the comfort they provide in residential and municipal buildings is also of interest, as vapour can pass through them, making them highly suitable as interior insulation.
Market deployment considerations
Separate processing nodes would mean high transport costs
Bark must not be stored outdoors.