LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) recently reviewed the status and accomplishments of the program to maximize the value of Philippine Industrial Tree Plantation Species (ITPS).
The review aimed to evaluate the status and accomplishments of the projects under the program, “Value Addition and Waste Recovery Systems for ITPs: Maximizing Value of Philippine Industrial Tree Plantation Species through Nanotechnology Interventions and Bioplastic Production.”
Dr. Ramon A. Razal, program and project leader, presented the program overview and the accomplishments of project 1. He emphasized the importance of the recent developments on forest nanotechnology and bioplastics, along with the possible new products and applications of nanocellulose from solid wood or waste materials derived from three ITPS (Falcata, Gmelina, and Mangium) widely planted in the Philippines.
The second project component is led by Prof. Ronniel D. Manalo from the College of Forestry and Natural Resources in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB-CFNR). He discussed the methods to utilize lignin obtained as byproduct from pulping of ITPS, one of the pre-treatment steps in the production of nanocellulose. According to Prof. Manalo, his team is currently establishing protocols for product development.
Overall, the program is 70% on track with three months remaining before Phase 1 ends. Plans to produce nanocellulose as an initial product to be offered to industries for utilization will be implemented in Phase 2.
Dr. Marcelino U. Siladan, Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) Manager for Rubber and ITPS, led the technical review and evaluation. According to Dr. Siladan, the success in utilizing ITPS for bioplastics production can further encourage tree farmers to plant ITPS and can contribute in the rehabilitation and reforestation efforts of the country to sustain the wood-based industries.