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Tapping Trees for Adhesive Raw Materials

Andy Extance – Feb 10, 2010

Talking about "tapping trees" for raw materials might still bring to mind 18th century scientists, exploiting the rubber ooze to make elastomeric adhesives. However waste from lumber mills can produce lignin- or tannin-based adhesives for wood laminates. Tannin can also be used to mimic mussel adhesive protein. Although rubber from trees is still used in adhesives, many of the other chemicals have come a long way since then. For example, the first tackifiers were not sufficiently stable, so glycerol and pentaerythritol esters of wood rosins, known as ester gums, have gradually replaced them.

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