Asia Lignin & Cellulose R&D and Innovations

Chinese Reinvent Wood by Replacing Lignin with Resol

Chinese scientists create a new wood that is as strong as real wood but won't catch fire.

Natural polymer lignin makes natural wood strong. Lignin binds small crystallites of cellulose together in a web-like structure. Chinese scientists replaced lignin with synthetic polymer resol.

Resol is a synthetic polymer that has a web-like structure and can bind crystallites together to create strength. The crystallites can be changed to create different types of wood, colours and properties.

Resol is a polymeric resin used for gluing and bonding building materials such as exterior plywood, oriented strand boards and engineered laminated composite lumber.

Chinese scientists believe their invention will be better than real wood because it can be produced in a few minutes while trees take more time to grow and it’s fire resistant.

Chinese scientists believe their invention will be better than wood-plastic composites due to its strength and fire resistance.

Chinese scientists said:

“This time-efficient strategy contrasts strikingly with the decades or hundreds of years needed to grow natural wood. Our artificial woods exhibit not only good controllability in microstructures but also comparable mechanical properties with those of natural wood.”

Who created the invention?

Zhi-Long Yu, Ning Yang, Li-Chuan Zhou, Zhi-Yuan Ma, Yin-Bo Zhu, Yu-Yang Lu, Bing Qin, Wei-Yi Xing, Tao Ma, Si-Cheng Li, Huai-Ling Gao, Heng-An Wu and Shu-Hong Yu.

This invention and work  was granted by:

  • National Natural Science Foundation of China
  • Foundation for Innovative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China
  • Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • National Basic Research Program of China
  • Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities
  • Hefei Science Center of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • National Postdoctoral Program for Innovative Talents
  • China Postdoctoral Science Foundation
  • National Postdoctoral Program for Innovative Talents

And last but not least:

This work was partially carried out at the University of Science and Technology of China Center for Micro and Nanoscale Research and Fabrication.

Some Images


chinese reinvent wood resol
Fabrication scheme of the bioinspired polymeric woods and kinds of composite woods based on PF and MF.


chinese reinvent wood
The structural characterization of the balsa and polymeric woods.
chinese replace lignin by resol
Compressive performances and failure mechanisms of the polymeric woods.


Published on

Bioinspired polymeric woods


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