The Power of the Pine Knot

The Power of the Pine Knot

The raw material for all our natural resins are extracted from the Brazillian-native tree, Araucaria Angustifolia. This tree, also known as the Paraná Pine, produces the pine knot, a highly dense and resinous part of the tree. The pine knot acts as the connection point between the extremely long and heavy branches of the Araucaria to the trunk of the tree. There is no need to cut down the Araucaria to have access to the pine knot, since the tree is continually replacing its branches with new ones. Since the pine knot is dense, the branch decomposes over time, leaving the pine knot buried underground. Usually, farmers collect the pine knots from their fields as they are preparing the land to plant crops. Our factory buys the pine knots from rural collectives or directly from farmers, which would otherwise burn them for firewood.

POV from the ground level, looking up the trunk of an Araucaria

The pine knot is extremely hard and heavy, since its highly packed with resin. In order to obtain the Araucaria resin, the pine knot is cleaned, chopped with a special cutter and passes through an alcoholic extraction. Once the resin is obtained from the pine knot, other industrial processes are undergone to achieve the finished products in the Carbofen and Respin line. Each product highlights a different property of the resin and is potentialized through specific processes, respectively.

Infographic describing how the pine knot is used in the manufacturing process.

Due to its physical and chemical properties, our Carbofen product line (Carbofen Gold, Carbofen 6060, Carbofen 5055, Carbofen NCX, Carbofen-X and Carbofen 5770) can be used as raw materials or by itself for a variety of industrial applications, such as:

  • Air entraining agent and plasticizer for concrete and mortar,
  • Anionic bitumen emulsifier for slow setting (SS-1 & SS-1H) emulsions for road pavement rejuvenation, microsurfacing, slurry seal and roofing applications,
  • Adhesives and sealants for the gasket industry,
  • Foundry molds and core washes,
  • Binder in paperboard and composition board.


As you can see, Polytrade gives a noble use for the pine knot as a renewable raw material for its natural resins. Through a specialized industrial process, a part of a native Brazilian tree becomes so much more by being part of the buildings people live and work, the roads they drive and even some everyday objects, all over the world.

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