Biodegradable Material From Wood Chips

Introduction: Biodegradable Material From Wood Chips

Every wood shop has the problem of the mass amount of wood chips that are made everytime the shop is in use. This instructable aimes to make those wood chips useful again. Through some simple steps and with ingredients that are easily accessible these wood chips will give form to a new material that can be used for future projects or prototypes. This material is completely biodegradable and reusable.


  • 50 grams of saw dust or wood chips.
  • 15 grams of Agar agar
  • 5 ml of Glycerine/glycerol
  • 250 ml water
  • A mold (this can be a simple jar or cup)
  • A cooking pot
  • Spoons
  • A scale
  • A furnace
  • An oven

Step 1: Mixing the Ingredients

If you want to use sawdust, you can blend the bigger wood chips and then sift the dust.

Take the cooking pot (not on the stove) and mix the water with the agar and the glycerin.

Step 2: Heating the Mixture and Adding Wood

When all ingredients are mixed, you can put the pot on the stove on a medium temperature.

Keep stirring the mixture while heating. Keep heating until it begins to bubble. Once a lot of bubbles start to form, you can take the pot off the stove. Now mix the wood chips or sawdust with the mixture. The ingredients should be fully absorbed by the wood.

Step 3: Forming the Material

After everything is mixed together, you can pour the mixture into your mold. To prevent the material from molding, it should be dried as fast as possible. To do this, you can put the mould in the sun. Once the material has dried enough, it can be taken out of the mold to let it dry further. To further dry the material (on the inside) it should be put in an oven on 50 °C for a couple minutes to hours, depending on the size of the model.

Once the material is fully dried, it is ready to be used! Watch out with water, because water touching the material will make it soggy. This can however be reverted by drying it again.
The material can easily be reused and is bio-degradable. To reuse the material, simply shred it and use this as wood chips for the new batch.

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