The existing laboratory for wood technology dates back to the late eighties and early nineties, when at the time a modern wood laboratory was established. One of the original focal points was the introduction of so-called lesser-used and / or lesser-known wood species on the local and international market. Since the nineties about 50 wood species have been tested for their physical, chemical, mechanical and / or biological properties. This kind of work is still done, in close cooperation with the other specialized laboratories of CELOS. Wood is a renewable resource of natural origin and is mainly harvested in Suriname from the Surinamese tropical forest. To make this forest an eternal source of raw materials while protecting the forest and its biodiversity, the aims of the wood technology laboratory are as follows:
- Increase the overall efficiency of wood processing in all its diversity and ensure that no waste (by product) is discarded, allowed to rot or is burned without any purpose;
- Introduction of more lesser used and lesser-known types of wood species to reduce the pressure on demanded wood species
- Research into wood and woody materials to reduce the demand for newly harvested timber.
In this way the laboratory for wood technology contributes to a well-developed Surinamese wood industry that can produce products with high added value and has a highly qualified workforce. At the same time, the pressure on the Surinamese forest is being reduced, because less area will be put into production and the remaining forests will remain unspoiled and will be available for ecotourism and indigenous and tribal people. Ongoing research and development projects for 2018 are:
- The development of a digitally searchable database with all information about Surinamese woods. Currently about 1500 different types of wood are identified;
- The development of a xylotheque (wood collection) containing all Surinamese wood species. This work is carried out in addition to setting up the digital database;
- Research and development of the use of fast-growing, highly-specific Surinamese wood species to manufacture sustainable structural building components;
- Research and development of the use of waste from agricultural production to manufacture woody products.
The following products and services are currently offered by the laboratory for wood technology:
- Wood collection samples, either one sample of a wood type, handmade collection boxes with 30 different types of wood and wooden tableaus in different sizes containing decorative wood types. Special sizes and / or collections are tailor-made and will require higher production time and have higher costs;
- Determination of wood species or name (local or scientific);§ Determination of basic properties such as wood moisture content, volume weight, specific weight, color, flexural strength, etc.
- Technical advice on the use of wood and the implementation of (new) wood technology;
- Training of those employed within the wood industry with regards to important aspects of wood, wood use and wood processing;
- Policy reports on timber harvesting and wood processing, together with other laboratories and departments of CELOS.