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Wood and Gum Chemicals

Industry Overview:

Wood chemicals play a key role in protecting our environment – by safeguarding wood products from insects and decay, they greatly reduce our need to harvest more trees. These chemicals are used for residential and commercial buildings, and various infrastructure constructions – including the approximately 180 million wooden utility poles currently in use in the United States, most of which are at least 50 years old. Gum chemicals are equally influential in their diverse array of uses. These products play a part in the formulation of adhesives and sealants, both paper and the ink that adorns it, soaps and pharmaceuticals, and rubber and plastics.

The wood and gum chemical industry has seen its ups and downs in the last hundred years. As wood treatment became more effective, so, too, did demand increase for these high-quality construction materials. Particularly influential to this industry was the rise of outdoor barbecue grills and charcoal briquettes. Demand was negatively influenced by the rise of synthetic chemicals, but just as quickly reversed as environmental concerns regarding these artificial replacements were raised. Today, the wood and gum chemical industry remains a significant player in the global marketplace.

Common Applications:
  • Manufacturing – hardwood, softwood, etc.
  • Turpentine, oils and finishes, etc.
  • Distilling
  • Polymer, cellulose, etc.
  • Hemicelloses, mannose, etc.
  • Lignin
  • Extractives, exudants, etc.
  • Tall oil
  • Kraft pulping
  • Wood hydrolysis
  • Wood gasification
  • Environmental concerns
  • Bio-oils
  • Silvichemicals
  • Ethanol, menthanol, etc.
Look for our articles in Pine Chemicals Review and other industry publications..

With over 25 years as a top chemical industry recruitment agency, Ropella is well-versed in the challenges companies face in their search to find highly qualified professionals. As talent acquisition specialists, we excel at attracting, recruiting and building relationships with potential candidates. Our executive search consultants stay abreast of current industry trends making Ropella a knowledgeable, efficient and effective partner for recruiting top chemical talent.

A proven executive search firm, Ropella is dedicated to helping companies gain a competitive advantage by providing customized and strategic talent solutions. We leverage our industry expertise, proprietary smart search system and global network to deliver exceptional results quickly for even the most challenging searches. Successful industry leaders count on Ropella to find the right talent to drive their business forward.


The typical positions, roles and/or functions our search consultants serve include:

Sales (such as; new business development, key account management, technical service, customer service, branch, district, region, national, global in scope).
Marketing (such as market research, market analyst, consumer research, public relations, social media, communications, product management).
Manufacturing (such as operations, production, engineering, plant design, process development, pilot plant, scale up).
Research & Development (such as exploratory research, discovery research, synthesis, analytical, applications development, new product development, formulations, compounding, quality control, environmental, regulatory, health and safety).
Administration (such as procurement, supply chain, logistics, human resources).
Business Management (such as general management, executive, manager, director, vice president, c-suite and board member, commercial development, merger, acquisition, joint venture).
Venture Capital / Private Equity (such as administration and finance, commercial development, executive level management, human resources, mfg., marketing, r&d, sales)
We read and write for industry publications, including:
We participate in industry associations such as:
We regularly attend industry trade shows, including:
We have served and developed relationships with leading companies in the industry, including:
C&E News
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What sets Ropella apart from other search firms and recruiters?


For more information, contact:

Jeff Bennett

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It gives me much pleasure to bear testimony to Robbie Ropella. I have formed in the many opportunities afforded, a very high opinion of her character and worth. Of a thoughtful and sober disposition, yet kindly and obliging in nature, she is held in esteem by all who have come into contact with her. The professionalism, integrity and attention to detail shown by Robbie at the outset was underpinned by the speed of her success in gaining competent business professionals to fulfill a highly demanding role within our company.
Having used several headhunters in the past, Robbie is the only one that I would use again. Robbie and the team developed a good understanding of our requirements and have found high calibre like-minded people to add value to our business.  The close connection we have had over the contract period, enables me to commend Robbie as one in whom every confidence may be placed in securing quality individuals.

Commercial Director
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