Turn sawdust into a durable and sustainable building material

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From the moment a tree is cut down, wood debris begins to accumulate. Bark and wood debris on the forest floor. A pile of shavings in a sawmill, sawmill or paper mill.

Some of this waste is converted into products such as mulch, animal bedding, and biofuels. The majority is sent to landfills or incinerated, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions by releasing the carbon dioxide absorbed by the trees from the atmosphere.

Israeli scientist Michael Rayani has found a better option: turning wood waste into wood. daika wooda new natural material that replaces harmful petroleum-based wood in many applications.

Turn sawdust into a durable and sustainable building material
Dr. Michael Layani, co-founder of Daika;Photo provided by: Daika

Rayani earned a PhD in materials science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was planning a career in academia. He had published his papers and advised several startups.

And while managing 3D & Functional Printing Center In 2018, he worked with nanomaterials expert Professor Shlomo Magdassi and started a project with PhD student Doron Kam to create 3D printer “ink” from organic wood derivatives.

“When I held the sample in my hand, I kept stroking it and felt there was something here that was much more than any other academic paper,” Rayani told ISRAEL21c. “That was something I really fell in love with.”

star power

This project is a unique combination of the expertise of two renowned serial inventors and entrepreneurs at Hebrew University. Magdassi, Professor of Materials Science and 3D Printing, and Professor Oded Shoseyov of the Faculty of Agriculture, who has discovered multiple uses for cellulose, a sustainable substance that is abundant in all plants. And trees.

“We wanted to open new doors in the field of 3D printing,” Magdassi tells ISRAEL21c.

“I believe in collaboration with researchers from different fields, and this is a collaboration that creates great synergy and results. Everything came together beautifully.”

Layani and two professors launched Daika in 2020 after licensing their intellectual property from the university’s technology transfer company Yissum.

According to Rayani, “Daika” has a double meaning. It is a Japanese style carpentry work that does not use glue or screws. In the ancient Semitic language Aramaic, embankment It means “to learn from it.”

“We see ourselves as a company that can upcycle wood waste from many sources, including textile waste, without creating new waste streams. Our vision is: It means that in 10 years everyone will know that there is a circular and sustainable way to do things.”

perfectly circular

Turn sawdust into a durable and sustainable building material
Daika CEO Shlomo Amir.Photo provided by: Daika

Dykawood is made by grinding wood waste and mixing water and organic ingredients, including cellulose and food industry byproducts, to mimic the chemical reactions of wood.

“Initially, this raw material is like dough, but it can be further processed to form a product by molding, pressing, extruding, or additive manufacturing. We follow the production process from the first stage to the final product. , so we can dye it and create patterns on it,” Shlomo Amir, CEO of Daika, tells ISRAEL21c.

After curing in a temperature-controlled room for a few hours to a few days, Daika wood hardens and becomes a “better material than natural wood,” Amir says. It is at least as strong, if not stronger, and has the highest possible flame retardant properties for wood. ”

Turn sawdust into a durable and sustainable building material
Deika wood wall decoration in the offices of the Hebrew University technology transfer company Eastam.Photo provided by: Daika

Daika’s new molding and printing processes reduce manufacturing waste and redundancies.

“Dika Wood can be polished and sawn into lumber. The waste from these processes is recycled, so our cleantech mass production process is complete circle.”

Turn sawdust into a durable and sustainable building material
Photo provided by: Daika

Based in Rosh HaAyin, Daika initially received support from: Terra Venture Partners and the Israel Innovation Authority. Albert Duer, chairman and co-CEO of UBQ Materials (which makes plastic alternatives from household waste), later joined as a strategic investor and advisor.

pilot stage

Daika is currently in the pilot stage, Amir says. In this first phase, Daika is sourcing all its wood waste from sawmills in Israel.

The company plans to raise seed funding soon to build a small factory in Israel that could ship commercial products by mid-2024. Construction of large-scale factories with strategic partners in the US and Europe is planned, with first deliveries of Daikawood estimated in the first quarter of 2025.

“Next door to our office we manufacture samples for potential customers and partners. We have performed several POCs. [proofs of concept] companies such as office furniture manufacturer Steelcase,” he told ISRAEL21c.

Dyca Wood starred in the award-winning project of. D.Dlab (Disrupt.Design) Computational Design and Advanced Manufacturing Solutions Laboratory at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel, under the direction of Assistant Professor Shani Baras.

laboratory wooden wood The project developed a robotic tool to 3D print Deika wood onto a wicker-like textile surface for sustainable seating products, demonstrating the potential to improve the performance of wood using zero-waste design principles. did.

Turn sawdust into a durable and sustainable building material
The rattan effect on this WoodWood stool was achieved with Daikawood. Photo provided by: Disrupt.Design Lab

The WoodWood project has won international awards. Design education award 2023 Gold Award for the best ideas and implementations in architecture and design. Additionally, this project will be exhibited during his 2023 Milan Design Week, Fuorisalone.it Selected as one of the top 12 sustainability-related projects.

Patented recipe

While Daika is not the only company making engineered wood from wood waste, Amir says it is the only company that uses natural substances as binders instead of epoxy and other petroleum-based materials. .

Dykawood is made from a precise recipe protected by one granted patent, with more to come. Amir says the exact ratio of ingredients is the secret sauce.

“Behind our company there is real innovation and a lot of know-how, which was first gathered in the laboratory of the Hebrew University and then brought to us. We use 100% natural materials without thermoplastics. This provides new possibilities for designers and brings competitive costs compared to current plastics and wood industry standards.”

Turn sawdust into a durable and sustainable building material
Daika team at Rosh HaAyin.Photo provided by: Daika

This technology can process wood byproducts from any waste stream, including industrial carpentry and municipal landscaping.

“We have the ability to eliminate billions of tonnes of waste wood that is currently unused in a real circular economy, reducing time and costs in construction and consumer products,” Amir said. say.

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