Pilot & testing facilities

Improving existing products and developing new ones requires a wide range of resources. Scion offers advanced equipment and specialised skills for analysing substances, supporting product development, trouble shooting and compliance with necessary standards.

We work with manufacturers and product developers to improve processing systems and devise novel ways of using renewable materials. Our scientific capability supports product development based on lignocellulosic (woody) material, plant fibres, plastics, polymers, composites, green chemicals and organic wastes.

We have technologically advanced facilities to support our research activities. Our national and international networks help ensure we are working at the forefront in these rapidly developing areas.

Looking more broadly across the value chain, we offer:

  • Product design, development and testing
  • Project design and management – from practical research to seeking funding, identifying suitable partners, and IP expertise.

Our services are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client.

Advanced materials development, characterisation and testing

Our capabilities include:


Stefan Hill Portfolio Leader, Bio/Organic Chemistry

Product development, testing and performance

Plastic composite and adhesive testing - tensile strength, compression, three-point bending and impact testing.

Pulp and paper including:

  • Routine handsheet evaluation
  • Pulp quality evaluation
  • Chemical pulping and bleaching
  • Chemical analysis of wood and fibre constituents

Packaging [pdf] including paperboard, plastic, composite and foam packaging systems.

Compostability and biodegradation [pdf]

  • Compostability testing at Scion conforms strictly the standard(s) and the full documentation needed in case of certification is provided.
  • The testing programme can be tailored to include simplified screening tests done in (early) material development, and/or focusing on the characteristics expected to present difficulties.
  • Tests can be carried out in under different conditions including soil, fresh water, sea water, compost and other media.
  • Please get in touch to discuss your specific requirements: [email protected]

Surface coatings including enhancing the performance of paints and varnishes on wood-based materials, and developing coatings for packaging.

Solid timber and engineered wood including mechanical, strength and seismic testing; glue testing; and developing new testing technologies.

Wood preservative treatments to improve the durability and performance of wood.

Testing services for the pulp and paper industry [pdf]


Stefan Hill Portfolio Leader, Bio/Organic Chemistry

Doug Gaunt Scientist, Materials Analysis, Characterisation and Testing

Plant and industrial biotechnology

  • Plants and microorganisms including optimising plant growth and the use of microorganisms in commercial production.
  • Molecular biology and biochemistry using genomic, proteomic and metabolomic techniques to improve bio-based production.
  • Industrial fermentation developing industrial biological processes that use microbes.
  • Extractive removal and analysis extracting chemicals from plants, including tannin, lignin and compounds with antioxidant or anti-microbial activity.
  • Thermochemical processing using heat to break down organic wastes into valuable compounds.
  • Bioenergy including solid fuels such as torrefied wood and liquid biofuels such as pyrolysis oil (crude bio-diesel) and alcohols.
  • Environmental analyses

Read more on industrial biotechnology research and development


Gareth Lloyd-Jones Research Group Leader, Forest Genetics and Biotechnology

Paul Bennett Portfolio Leader, Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering

Wood modification and advanced processing

  • Chemical and thermal modification altering wood chemistry and improving product performance.
  • Timber drying including:
    - Softwood drying including world class control systems for optimum drying, energy efficiency and product performance
    - Hardwoods and exotic timbers
    - Supercritical extraction.


Elizabeth Dunningham Scientist, Te Ao Maori - Research

Doug Gaunt Scentist, Materials Analysis, Characterisation and Testing

Wood Fibre Refining Facility

We have a small-scale industrial facility capable of processing wood to produce fibre and pulp. It is used to test operational scenarios for New Zealand’s pulp and fibre production companies.

Read about our fibre and pulp processing plant brochure [pdf]


Karl Murton Scientist, Process Development

Plastics and bioplastics

We have a comprehensive selection of plastic and composite processing equipment [pdf] including extrusion, injection moulding, film blowing, foaming and thermoforming, as well as being able to carry out material analysis [pdf] and assess the compostabillity [pdf] of plastics.


Stefan Hill Portfolio Leader, Bio/Organic Chemistry