A new, biodegradable insulation is made from wood by-products, making it carbon negative
Spotted: The global insulation market predominantly uses products made from inorganic mineral wools like fibreglass, and fossil-fuel derived plastic products such as polystyrene. These products have both health and environmental impacts. In addition, they are not biodegradable and frequently end up in aquatic or terrestrial ecosystems. Now, a Finnish company called Fiberwood has developed a more sustainable alternative.
The company’s product is made from wood pulp and materials generated from the mechanical wood industry. A proprietary foam-forming technology is used to create insulation sheets that include the natural traits of trees, along with air pockets that increase the material’s insulation capabilities. Fiberwood’s packaging sheets provide protection similar to Styrofoam.
Because they are made from wood, the products are also carbon negative, storing and binding the carbon dioxide in the wood for as long as it exists. At the end of their lifespan, the insulation sheets will biodegrade to produce plastic-free soil. The material also has excellent cushioning and protection properties, making it perfect for use in packaging as a replacement for plastic-based products.
Karita Kinnunen-Raudaskoski, Fiberwood’s Director of Technology and Product Development explains: “Since last September, in our first phase of production we have been able to produce commercial-sized insulation boards for testing. Next, we will build a continuous pilot line for production-scale product and process development.” Fiberwood hopes to make the product commercially available by mid-2024.
Recently, Springwise has spotted a growing number of innovative ideas for replacing fossil-fuel-based insulation. These include insulating packaging made from feathers, and a sustainable insulation made from mineral waste.
Written By: Lisa Magloff