Utilizing and Valorizing Oat and Barley Straw as an Alternative Source of Lignocellulosic Fibers

Marc Borrega, Ville Hinkka, Hanna Hörhammer, Kirsi Kataja, Eija Kenttä, Jukka A. Ketoja*, Rosa Palmgren, Minna Salo, Henna Sundqvist-Andberg, Atsushi Tanaka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The transition to sustainable, biodegradable, and recyclable materials requires new sources of cellulose fibers that are already used in large volumes by forest industries. Oat and barley straws provide interesting alternatives to wood fibers in lightweight material applications because of their similar chemical composition. Here we investigate processing and material forming concepts, which would enable strong fiber network structures for various applications. The idea is to apply mild pretreatment processing that could be distributed locally so that the logistics of the raw material collection could be made efficient. The actual material production would then combine foam-forming and hot-pressing operations that allow using all fractions of fiber materials with minimal waste. We aimed to study the technical features of this type of processing on a laboratory scale. The homogeneity of the sheet samples was very much affected by whether the raw material was mechanically refined or not. Straw fibers did not form a bond spontaneously with one another after drying the sheets, but their effective bonding required a subsequent hot pressing operation. The mechanical properties of the formed materials were at a similar level as those of the conventional wood-fiber webs. In addition to the technical aspects of materials, we also discuss the business opportunities and system-level requirements of using straw as an alternative source of lignocellulosic fibers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7826
Peer-reviewed scientific journalMaterials
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 06.11.2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 114 Physical sciences
  • straw
  • cellulose
  • fiber
  • material
  • pretreatment
  • bonding
  • foam forming
  • hot pressing
  • logistics
  • business
  • 216 Materials engineering


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