A Review of Wood Modification Globally – Updated Findings from COST FP1407
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wood modification


Wood modification (chemical, thermal, impregnation) represents an assortment of innovative processes continually being adopted in the wood protection sector. COST Action FP1407 “Understanding wood modification through an integrated scientific and environmental impact approach — ModWoodLife” was initiated in 2015, with its 4-year programme aiming to investigate modification processing and products design with emphasis on their environmental impacts. Among the final tasks within COST FP1407 was to re-evaluate the current status of wood modification across the member countries. However, it became clear that activities in other European countries needed to be addressed, and as a result, a more extensive evaluation of wood modification processes across Europe was undertaken, as well as determining the activities globally. This paper outlines some of the recent updates in wood modification, along with summarising data collected by the authors from international colleagues and online sources, so providing an evaluation of the overall global position. These figures suggest that wood modification is undergoing a significant increase in production due to demand, with levels of recent growth seemingly suggesting this will continue for the coming years. Based on data gathered, the global commercial production of modified wood is dominated by thermal modification processes, which produce 1,110,000 m3/year. Among the other commercialised processes, acetylation accounts for 120,000 m3/year and furfurylation 45,000 m3/year. A further global production of around 330,000 m3/year is estimated for other processes, predominantly based on resin-based systems (e.g., Impreg- and Compreg-based processes).

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