Formaldehyde-Free Binding Systems for Wood-Based Composites




Formaldehyde is a widely used industrial chemical that is also a suspected carcinogen. Worker and end-user exposure to formaldehyde is heavily regulated by at the state and federal level by agencies including HUD, EPA, and NIOSH.


Particleboard (PB) and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) are two composite wood products that are traditionally made using formaldehyde-based adhesives. Formaldehyde vapor tends to escape during composite manufacturing and is also out-gassed to some extent from the finished products.


Description of Technology


Michigan State University’s invention is a method for preparing an adhesive system for composite wood products that is formaldehyde free. It uses a polyolefin modified with maleic anhydride to bind together wood particles into extruded boards. The technology offers a route to eliminating formaldehyde from the production process, which would improve air quality at the production sites, in the surrounding environment, and at the end-user location.


Key Benefits

  • This adhesive was shown to produce samples with comparable mechanical properties to commercially available PB and MDF produced using formaldehyde adhesives.
  • The demand for environmentally friendly products continues to grow, as consumers become increasingly aware of health risks posed by traditional products.




The invention can be used to produce formaldehyde-free composite wood products, such as particleboard and fiberboard.


Patent Status


U.S. patent 7,605,197




Laurent Matuana, Katana Carlborn


Tech ID




Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University