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Specialty chemicals

  • Newly Discovered Compounds in Trees Carry Promise as High Value-added Products

    Bio4EnergyBurningCandle Anna Strom2021 400pxBio4Energy scientists say that newly discovered lipophilic compounds in wood, once better understood, could be turned into organic wax for making candles, cosmetics or even anti-inflammatory drugs. Photo by Anna Strom©2021. researchers have found a set of compounds in the wood of trees that have “apparently been overlooked” until now, and which the scientists believe could find use as organic wax in cosmetics, candles or as agents in anti-inflammatory drugs. Not only this, but the discovery and mapping of these fat-loving substances might inform the pulp and paper industry on how to avoid problems with clogging of machinery in biorefineries.

    The discovery by scientists at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), was unveiled last week as the prestigious Swedish Research Council announced it would fund a three-year effort to lay bare ways in which these lipophilic compounds, found in the cell walls of trees, behave and interact with other components of the wood and how to extract them.

    In fact, the research team led by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on Bio4Energy Forest-based Feedstock, will start from the contention that the newly discovered compounds are similar to an already known waxy substance mainly found in the cell walls of cork, called suberin.

    “These novel compounds are partially insoluble and partially contained within the extractives—the compounds that can reach ten per cent of wood dry weight”, professor Mellerowicz explained in an e-mail message to Bio4Energy Communications.