Environmentally friendly biological wood protection

Making wood in outdoor applications more sustainable is possible using completely natural raw materials according to an environmentally friendly process. Xyhlo from Goor in Twente developed an innovative biological finish for wood, a living protective layer that repairs itself in the event of damage due to cracks. This matte black finish protects the outdoor wood for years in an environmentally friendly way. The finish is made of sustainably extracted materials from Twente, does not harm the environment, is low in maintenance, does not peel and hardly discolours. This special form of wood protection is FSC © and PEFC ™ certified.

global goal icon

global goal icon

In short

  • Laquer is required to protect wooden constructions against various weather conditions 
  • Xhylo’s biofinish repairs itself in the event of damage due to cracks and is extremely sustainable 

Global Goal

global goal icon

Xhylo protects the wood with biosources. This contributes to moving towards a biobased economy and positively impacts the worldwide CO2 balance. Unlike synthetic protective materials, the Xyhlo’s wood and biofinisch are largely constructed of collected atmospheric CO2. This means that by the end of the lifecycle, no extra CO2 has been emitted, making the wood product 100% CO2 neutral.

Biological finish

Two layers are applied before processing the wood in the wood factory. First, a biological protective layer based on natural linseed oil is applied, to be followed by a biological coating based on a harmless and naturally occurring fungus, the aureobasidium pullulans. These coatings offer protection for native, less sustainable types of wood (compared to tropical hardwood) without environmentally harmful technologies or (paint) substances. On top of that, the biofinish gradually gets stronger in the first years of use, in contrast to conventional coatings that deteriorate from the first moment and must therefore by definition be renewed over time. By using the biofinish, the lifespan of treated wood is extended by a minimum of 5 years, according to Xyhlo. Additionally, maintenance costs are reduced. No toxic substances are required, scoring well in an environmental perspective.

Sustainable protection

The working principle of the protective, biological coating is based on the presence of active fungal cells and chlamydospores, adhering to the wood using biopolymers. The biofinish not only protects against weather conditions but also against degradation caused by UV radiation and other fungi. Nature and science are united in this natural protection principle for wood based on linseed oil and functional micro-organisms. 


Although much research has been done on biofilms in recent decades, most of the research projects are focused on preventing the formation of biofilm. The targeted use of "biofilm" by Xyhlo because of its functional properties has proven to be unique and an innovative form of wood protection worldwide. Further research is being done to produce non-black colours.

Natural cycle

After years of usage, the biofinish can be fully and biologically returned to the natural cycle. The waste wood becomes food for new organisms in nature: “waste equals food”. This eliminates the need for burning the wood. On top of that, no additional CO2 is emitted, even when the wood is used for energy production. This is how the Xyhlo’s biofinish contributes to a circular economy and is, in addition to being CO2 neutral, also climate neutral. This means waste or environmental issues are out of the picture. It is possible to return the waste wood to nature in a fragmented manner, providing the next generation of trees with valuable nutrients to grow. When wood is returned to the natural cycle, the captured CO2 remains stored in the wood residues, thereby contributing to the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Date: 1 July 2018 |

Source of tekst: Xyhlo |

Author: Twente.com