Impact of wood fraction, moisture and steam explosion on the development of an innovative insulation material

Martins Andzs, Ramunas Tupciauskas, Andris Veveris, Janis Gravitis


The study shows development of an innovative bulk heat insulation material from grey alder (Alnus incana L. Moench) chips and birch (Betula pendula, Betula verrucosa) flakes as residues of plywood production. The research is actual for the plywood production companies and for producers that process grey alder chips to make an innovative products with high added value. Chips and flakes eco-efficient converted to fibrous mass by steam explosion (SE) technology at temperatures (T) of 200 to 235 °C and time interval of 0 to 5 min. Application of SE technology to obtain fibrous insulating material is in the news at a global level and has not been studied previously. The bulk density of raw and SE materials determined using standardised method specified in LVS EN 15103: 2010. The bulk density of SE materials studied depending on the raw material fraction and moisture as well as depending on the SE conditions. The lowest bulk density (53 kg m-3) achieved SE material of grey alder chips with 12% of raw moisture processed at T 235 °C for 1 min. This is the optimal result, which reveals the industrial competitiveness of bulk heat insulation materials and indicate the justification for the further examination.


grey alder; birch flakes; steam explosion; bulk density; bulk heat insulation

Full Text:



Latvian Central Statistical Bureau, January 2015 [Online] Available: [Accessed: January 15. 2015]

Latvian State Environmental Service B permit environmental pollution. SIA VEREMS RSEZ file: April 2012 [Online] ///C:/Users/User/Downloads/b-rsez-verems-re12ib0006%20(1).pdf [Accessed: January 15. 2015]

Latvian Academy of science “Home page” March 2006. [Online] Available: [Accessed: March 20. 2015]

Wolfgang Stelte, Danish Technolgy institute, Report SE method, Available: file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/RK%20report%20steam%20explosion.pdf [Acessed January16.2015]

March 2006. [Online] Available [Acessed January16.2015]

Гравитис, Я. А. 1987. Теоретические и прикладные аспекты метода взрывного автогидролиза растительной биомассы. Абзор. Химия древесины, 5:3 – 21.

Overend, R.P., Chornet, E. Fractionation of Lignocellulosics by steam aqueous pretreatments. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. Ser. A-Math. Phys. Eng. Sci., 1987. 321(1561):523-536.

Веверис, А. Г., Эринш, П. П., Калейне, Д. А., Полманис, А.Г., Веверис, Г. П, Кузмане, Г. В. 1990. Высокотемпературный автогидролиз древесины. 1. Сопоставление поведения древесины основных пород Латвийской ССР. Химия древесины, 3: 89 – 95.

Abolins, J., Gravitis, J. 2007. Biomass conversion to transportation fuels, combustibles and nano-materials by steam explosion. Latvian J. Phys. Techn. Sci., 4: 29 – 39.

Tupciauskas, R., Veveris, A., Belkova, L., Gravitis, J. and Tuherm, H. 2012. Grey alder pretreatment by steam explosion for self adhesive composites. In: A. Baltrušaitis and K. Ukvalbergiene (eds.) Proceedings of the 8th Meeting of the Northern European Network for Wood Science and Engineering (WSE), 13-14 September, Kaunas, Lithuania. Kaunas University of Technology: Technologija, 214–220.



  • There are currently no refbacks.