ForestSpeCs findings on byproducts of forest industry: could bark be more valuable than timber?

H.M.T. Hokkanen, T. Ahlnäs, Sami Alakurtti, N. Demidova, J. Fuchs, D. Izotov, H. Kleeberg, S. Koskimies, M. Langat, J. Lynch, I. Menzler-Hokkanen, D. Mulholland, H.-J. Schärer, A. Shikov, L. Tamm, P. Tammela, J. Yli-Kauhaluoma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsProfessional

2 Citations (Scopus)


The EU-project FORESTSPECS provides research based biological and technical understanding and solutions needed for upgrading wood related residues and humic substances to value-added chemicals and materials. Only through such knowledge-based approach it is possible to develop innovative applications to the potentially huge variety of bioactive substances available in these by-products, currently considered as waste. These substances represent a rich source of aromatic and other complex structures, whose upgrading to value-added speciality chemicals and materials pro-vides an opportunity to the forest sector to create new types of value chains. Application opportuni-ties include medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, and environmental remediation uses. We focus our study on wood residues, such as the bark of Betula, Pinus, Picea, Larix, Abies and Populus, as well as on peat, as raw material. The work consists of innovative natural products chemistry, extraction and process technology; as well as basic research on the mode of action and the structure-function relationships in order to increase the knowledge-base, essential for the emerging bio-economy. Products arising from the use of these rapidly renewable natural raw mate-rials could replace petrochemical-based products not only in high value-added segments (e.g. med-icine, cosmetics, plant protection), but also in technical products such as adhesives, coatings, sur-factants and chelating agents. Furthermore, this project creates options for adding value to the total resource of processed wood and peat residues, e.g. in remediation and soil conditioning, so that no wastes remain, and the overall operations are environmentally sustainable and economically attractive. The outcomes of this project are expected to be of significant importance to the forest, farming, medical and pharmaceutical sectors, with major positive spin-off impacts to human health and the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNWBC 2012
Subtitle of host publicationThe 4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference
EditorsKlaus Niemelä
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7881-8
ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7880-1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
Event4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference, NWBC 2012 - Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 23 Oct 201225 Oct 2012 (Full proceedings)

Publication series

SeriesVTT Technology


Conference4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference, NWBC 2012
Abbreviated titleNWBC 2012
Internet address

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    Hokkanen, H. M. T., Ahlnäs, T., Alakurtti, S., Demidova, N., Fuchs, J., Izotov, D., Kleeberg, H., Koskimies, S., Langat, M., Lynch, J., Menzler-Hokkanen, I., Mulholland, D., Schärer, H-J., Shikov, A., Tamm, L., Tammela, P., & Yli-Kauhaluoma, J. (2012). ForestSpeCs findings on byproducts of forest industry: could bark be more valuable than timber? In K. Niemelä (Ed.), NWBC 2012: The 4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference (pp. 56-59). VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT Technology, No. 53