What's a better material than plastic in cars, furniture, and construction? Trees.


Expert Pitch
  • newswise-fullscreen What's a better material than plastic in cars, furniture, and construction? Trees.

    Credit: Sarah Bird

    Mark Rudnicki is forest biomaterials professor of practice in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Tech. He is also the executive director of the Michigan Forest Biomaterials Institute.

Michigan Technological University professor available to discuss sustainable use of forest products in automobiles, furniture and construction.

Lignin-based carbon fiber car frames. Mass timber buildings more than 10 stories tall. Furniture built from particle board otherwise be destined for a landfill. These are the promises of circular bioeconomy.

“To achieve a sustainable future, we must have renewable materials and energy and recycle everything we can. This is increasingly termed the circular bioeconomy,” said Mark Rudnicki, forest biomaterials professor of practice in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. He is also the executive director of the Michigan Forest Biomaterials Institute.

Rudnicki is available to explain how forest feedstocks offer a low carbon and renewable alternative to fossil fuels. Maximizing the value of residuals and waste from wood harvesting, milling, manufacturing and post-consumer use is critical to building a circular bioeconomy. 

“We must cross sectors to connect forest concerns to the chemical, mobility and biomedical sectors,” Rudnicki said. “Michigan certainly has the manufacturing base, as we are number one in the nation in manufacturing office furniture, plastic products and automobiles – all sectors increasingly interested in responsibly sourced renewable resources.”

The circular bioeconomy is the subject of the second Michigan Forest Bioeconomy Conference Feb. 12-13, 2019 in Midland, Michigan.

Rudnicki says the conference is one way he connects forest resources with furniture, plastics and automotive industries in the state.

 

Contact:
Mark Rudnicki
mrudnick@mtu.edu
906-487-2603

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