ECOTAN
Increasing the durability, value and performance of European timbers by thermal treatment with reactive vegetable oils

 

Work plan

 

 

Achieving the project objectives requires the completion of seven, closely related work packages that will provide the knowledge, models and best practice for the commercial treatment of selected European timber species. This will increase potential uses of modified European timber species. Product evaluation and partners’ understanding of selected markets will assist in the commercialisation of the treatment process.


Work package 1

Timber selection and screening

 

will prepare the initial material for treatment, with several timber species being evaluated for their suitability. Processing parameters will be determined, including influence on moisture content.


Work package 2

Lab scale process optimisation and preparation of test material

will optimise the treatment for selected timber species. Test material will also be prepared for analysis. Parameters to be investigated will include the stability of the oil, the impregnation process and curing requirements. The economic feasibility will also be considered. 


Work package 3

Evaluation of properties and performance (small scale)

will provide the background data for all future work, including the selection of products. Tests will be focussed towards high value applications and will be co-ordinated with process research. The aim is to gain the best results concerning durability and strength of the product, cleanliness of the surface, aesthetics and curing of the oils at the surface specific to targeted end-products and selected timber species.


Work package 4

Pilot scale optimisation and production of test material (large scale)

will produce demonstration material from the newly constructed pilot plant. The process will be optimised for this pilot scale reactor, and test material, up to lengths of 3m will be produced and evaluated. Further evaluations of economic feasibility will compare results from small scale preparations and provide a more realistic indication of treatment costs.


Work package 5

Evaluation of properties, in service testing and demonstration (large scale)

will link results from pilot scale production to small scale test results. This will also allow large scale components to be evaluated. Real products will be produced and evaluated by the project partners.


Work package 6

Benchmarking, best practice guidance and dissemination

will allow partners to showcase treated materials as products to their client base. This will increase the possibility of commercialisation for the process. Partners will actively promote the treatment through publications, newsletters and best practice guidance.




Work package 7

Project administration

will allow the smooth progression of the project to its completion. Regular meetings and interaction between partners will ensure milestones and deliverables are met.

 


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