The Next Material Revolution Will Start in the Forest

September 22, 2020

The hunt is on worldwide for sustainable replacements for many of the items we use and dispose of daily. The challenge is to ensure that replacements are equal to or better than what we use now in terms of performance, cost, convenience, and carbon footprint.

The answer, according to Professor Orlando Rojas, is wood. As the Director of the BioProducts Institute at UBC, Orlando leads a team of scientists, engineers, and market and policy experts to unlock the full potential of nature’s materials.

According to the European Union, replacement of just 1% of our current fossil fuel and plastic use with forest biomass products will generate $60 billion in economic activity per year.

In this webinar, Orlando will introduce you to the wide range of innovative wood fibre solutions currently under study in the BioProducts Institute, as it becomes the next UBC Global Research Excellence Institute, including:

  • Construction and Packaging: new shapes, increased extensibility and impermeability, thermal and light management
  • High bulk non-wovens: for padding, filtration, insulation and acoustics
  • Textiles: replacements for fibres created from fossil fuels
  • Renewable nanomaterials: creating coatings and color, batteries, antennae and sensors to reduce e-waste
  • Life under COVID: the human dimension and BC-sourced, biodegradable PPE

He will also discuss the business and economic implications of these innovations in the forest industry and their potential to stimulate a circular economy that is regenerative by design.

About the Presenter

Orlando Rojas

Orlando Rojas

Canada Excellence Research Chair in Bioproducts
Scientific Director, Bioproducts Institute
Director, Pulp and Paper Center

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