iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Improving sustainability in wood coating: testing lignin and cellulose nanocrystals as additives to commercial acrylic wood coatings for bio-building

Jasmina Jusic (1), Swati Tamantini (1), Manuela Romagnoli (1)   , Vittorio Vinciguerra (1), Elena Di Mattia (2), Florian Zikeli (1-3), Massimo Cavalera (4), Giuseppe Scarascia Mugnozza (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 14, Issue 6, Pages 499-507 (2021)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3782-014
Published: Nov 11, 2021 - Copyright © 2021 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: Research Project PRIN-MIUR 2015
The forest-wood value chain: biomass supply, traceability, C-footprint. Innovation for bioarchitecture and energy efficiency
Guest Editors: Scarascia Mugnozza G, Maesano M, Romagnoli M

Wood use in bio-building should be considered as one of the main pillars of sustainability. According to international standards, beech wood (Fagus sylvatica L.) is a rather less durable species as it is subject to degradation due to weathering, though it is abundantly available to a more intense use. Service life of beech products and wood products in general can be enhanced by different methods, such as heat treatments, but new chances are offered by coating technologies. However, to ensure protection from wood-destroying organisms, most commercial coatings include components that could harm human health, other organisms and the environment. Therefore, coating industry has to develop more eco-friendly solutions in order to decrease its impact on human health and environment. The objective of this article was to modify commercial acrylic varnish by adding cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) and lignin (LN) extracted from beech wood and investigate their effect on water sorption, additive dispersion in the coating matrix and coating resistance to bacterial attack. Contact angle, weight gain and colour difference were analysed and FT-IR mapping was applied. The performance of CNC was promising, as it enhanced water sorption of the modified coating. However, protection against bacterial attack was not satisfying. On the other hand, chemically unmodified lignin did not show positive effects as component in the coating formulation. Nevertheless, the currently limited usage of these two renewable and abundant resources urgently calls for their more efficient utilization, in order to create additional value with industry side-streams producing novel bio-based materials. Further experiments are needed in order to obtain better dispersion of the particles and higher resistance to bacterial attacks.


Acrylic Waterborne Coating, Beech Wood, Fagus sylvatica, Lignin, Cellulose Nanocrystal (CNC), FT-IR Mapping, Antibacterial Activity

Authors’ address

Elena Di Mattia 0000-0001-8511-4135
Department of Agricultural and Forest Sciences - DAFNE, University of Tuscia, Viterbo (Italy)
Florian Zikeli 0000-0002-7842-2655
Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Bioscience Engineering, Technische Universität, Wien (Austria)
Massimo Cavalera
FINEDIN s.r.l., Taviano, LE (Italy)

Corresponding author

Manuela Romagnoli


Jusic J, Tamantini S, Romagnoli M, Vinciguerra V, Di Mattia E, Zikeli F, Cavalera M, Scarascia Mugnozza G (2021). Improving sustainability in wood coating: testing lignin and cellulose nanocrystals as additives to commercial acrylic wood coatings for bio-building. iForest 14: 499-507. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3782-014

Academic Editor

Mauro Maesano

Paper history

Received: Feb 13, 2021
Accepted: Sep 02, 2021

First online: Nov 11, 2021
Publication Date: Dec 31, 2021
Publication Time: 2.33 months

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