The pine forests of Aquitaine (France) have found new outlets in recent years, thus the innovation of “green chemistry” takes an increasingly important role in front of paper and the traditional forest industry such as collection of resin for the manufacture of essence of turpentine.
“Everything that favors the increasing of price of wood is welcome,” says Bruno Lafon, President of the Union of Foresters in the Southwest. “I’ve always found that buyers were finding faults in pins to lower our prices. Today, these new applications are a little revenge ” he explains.
The green chemistry has long existed with all derivatives of terpenes and resin, represented in Dax (Landes) by DRT (derived Résiniques Terpéniques you) , and this subsidiary, Action Pin, which supplies products in sectors as diverse as adhesives, the gums, paints, inks, road signs, industrial oils and depilatory waxes.
There are other companies that occupy this sector, such as Berkem in Dordogne, which removes molecules from the bark of the wood for the pharmaceutical, food and cosmetics industry; Phytocos in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques (cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, fine chemistry) or Tournay in Dordogne, which produces molecules and plant extracts for dietary and drug store.
The case of Tembec in Tartas (Landes ) is an example of development of the chemistry of pine. The company, an paper old industry, was bought by a Canadian group in 1999, leaving the paper slowly and succesfully transformed into a “bio-refinery”, according to its director Maryse Coutou.
“Our employees (about 290) have had to learn a new profession. Today we produce high purity cellulose from the same molecule that comes from the Aquitaine Maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), thanks mainly to our research laboratory Gradignan, near Bordeaux ” she shows. “You can find our products in all sectors, construction, ice creams, toothpaste, nail painting and even explosive” remarks.
To achieve this change was invested 96 million euros in 10 years, 55 of those in the last five years, mainly to reduce environmental impact.
Another remarkable research project is Bioextra, whose objective is the extraction of all possible molecules of wood, carried out by the company Biolandes , which provide pine leaves’s essences to the perfume sector.