Wood chemists find new ways to use wood. Not only can useful wood chemicals be produced for other industries, but also new ways can be found of improving the performance of wood. There is also much interest at present in conversion of wood into other fuels.
Wood chemistry is a very broad field. Wood chemicals are used in ice cream, toothpaste and other foods.
Naturally-occurring wood chemicals can also be used as possible wood preservatives, drugs for fighting cancer and for the manufacture of adhesives.
Wood chemists are developing ways of improving wood. For example, by acetylating wood, the density and durability can be increased and swelling and shrinkage be almost eliminated.
There is a highly destructive marine wood borer caller Limnoria. For many years, much research has gone into finding ways of controlling it to protect structures such as piers and groynes. During research into how this creature digests wood, discoveries have been made that show the potential for using wood as alternative bio-fuels.
Wood chemists are also very active in improving paper, paint, adhesives and coatings for wood products.