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Press release: EU funds €4.5 million to bioeconomy project exploring sustainable adhesives and coatings from tree bark

The CBE JU funded SuperBark will explore natural components in softwood bark to develop new bio-based adhesives and coatings for wood panels and packaging paper. The four-year project will improve the sustainability and safety profiles of adhesive and coating products compared to fossil-based solutions.

Adhesives and coatings are an integral part of everyday wood-based consumer products. However, most adhesives and coatings currently on the market are produced using fossil-based and harmful chemicals, which conflicts with the EU-level goal of protecting the health and well-being of citizens and the environment. 

As a solution, the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU) has funded SuperBark – a research and innovation project that will develop safe and sustainable adhesives and coatings from pine and spruce bark, which are major industrial side streams of the forest industry. SuperBark is coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, and the project’s interdisciplinary consortium consists of 12 partners from eight countries. SuperBark kicked-off on 1st September 2023 and continues until August 2027.  

The project aims to develop, test, and validate adhesives and coatings with ≥ 95% bio-based content that will replace fossil-based solutions used in consumer products in the furniture, construction, transport, and packaging sectors. To accomplish this, SuperBark will use polyphenols extracted from tree bark using a new alkaline fractionation technology, as well as cellulose nanofibrils converted from cellulose-rich bark residues.  

“SuperBark aims to eliminate consumer exposure to formaldehyde-based resins and per- and polyfluorinated substances used in coatings. The research will be guided by Safe and Sustainable by Design principles and will apply digital technologies to accelerate the development of adhesives and coatings into products with a long-lasting impact on human health and the environment,” says Marc Borrega, Senior Scientist and Project Manager from VTT.  

Throughout SuperBark, the partners will evaluate the safety, sustainability, technical as well as economic performance of the adhesives and coatings to initiate further R&D actions towards commercialization of the developed processes and products, which will reduce the demand for fossil-based, hazardous chemicals and polymers typically used in wood-based products today. 

To learn more about SuperBark, please contact Project Coordinator Marc Borrega,, +358 40 4820 837, or 

Read the original Business Wire press release here.

About SuperBark 

SuperBark is a four-year initiative funded by the CBE JU under the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme for €4.5 million. The project started on 1st September 2023. SuperBark is coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, and the consortium has 12 partners from eight countries. The partners’ profiles include four industrial partners: Adler-Werk Lackfabrik Johannberghoffer GmbH & Co KG, Metsä Group, Goricane Tovarna Papirja Medvode d.d, Kastamonu Entegre, six research and technology organisations: Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Zur Forderung Der Angewandten Forschung EV, Rigas Tehniska Universitate, Holzforschung Austria Osterreichische Gesellschaft Fur Holzforschung, Luxembourg Institute Of Science And Technology, Institut Za Celulozo In Papir, Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation, and one small and medium size enterprise: CLIC Innovation Oy