Forest-derived biomaterials can play an integral role in a sustainable and renewable future. Research across a range of disciplines is required to develop the knowledge necessary to overcome the challenges of incorporating more renewable forest resources in materials, chemicals, and fuels. We focus on wood specifically because in our view, better characterization of wood as a raw material and as a feedstock will lead to its increased utilization. We first give an overview of wood structure and chemical composition and then highlight current topics in forest products research, including (1) industrial chemicals, biofuels, and energy from woody materials; (2) wood-based activated carbon and carbon nanostructures; (3) development of improved wood protection treatments; (4) massive timber construction; (5) wood as a bioinspiring material; and (6) atomic simulations of wood polymers. We conclude with a discussion of the sustainability of wood as a renewable forest resource.
Jakes, Joseph E.; Arzola, Xavier; Bergman, Rick; Ciesielski, Peter; Hunt, Christopher G.; Rahbar, Nima; Tshabalala, Mandla; Wiedenhoeft, Alex C.; Zelinka, Samuel L. 2016. Not just lumber--using wood in the sustainable future of materials, chemicals, and fuels. Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials. 68(9): 2395-2404.