Manufacture of all-wood sawdust-based particle board using ionic liquid-facilitated fusion process

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Traditional particle board can generate harmful indoor air emissions due to the volatile resin-based compounds present. This study investigated the preparation of sawdust particle board using the novel ionic liquid based fusion approach with [EMIM]OAc. The dissolution parameters were investigated using the thermal optical microscopy technique. The particle board sheets were prepared by hot pressing sawdust in the presence of ionic liquid (IL) ([EMIM]OAc) and subsequently purifying the fusion sawdust matrix from the IL with methanol. The fusion process of the sawdust particles was analysed with SEM and mechanical testing. The raw materials and the produced materials were investigated with elemental analysis, FTIR, and 13C-SS-NMR. IL fusion of the sawdust required a temperature above 150 °C, similar to the glass transition temperature (tg) of lignin. At lower temperatures, strong particle fusion was not obtained. It was observed that the sawdust/IL weight ratio was an important parameter of the fusion process, and a 1:3 weight ratio resulted in the strongest particle boards with a tensile strength of up to 10 MPa, similar to commercial particle boards. The particle fusion process was also studied with a twin-screw extruder. The extrusion enhanced the fusion of the sawdust particles by increasing dissolution of the sawdust particles, which was subsequently seen in elevated tensile strength (20 MPa). The study provides a practical view of how sawdust-based particle board can be manufactured using ionic liquid-based fusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-349
JournalWood Science and Technology
Issue number2
Early online date16 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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