This paper explores the physical and economic potential to substitute anaerobically digested bovine biofiber (ADBF) for wood in the making of particleboard. Laboratory tests indicated that replacement of one-half the wood in particleboard with ADBF produced panels that compared favorably to the requirements for commercial particleboard performance (specified by ANSI Standard A208.1-1999). The economic question hinges on the opportunity costs of alternative uses for ADBF. The current use is primarily animal bedding, and prices appear to be greater than those paid by particleboard plants for sawdust and planer shavings but less than for chips. ADBF is most similar in size to, thus most likely to be substitutable for, sawdust and shavings. At current bedding values, use for particleboard appears a less favorable alternative. However, this could be overcome by large-volume, long-term contractual arrangements that provide a secure long-term outlet for excess ADBF fiber that may otherwise not have value. For a particleboard operation, the opportunity for fiber diversification and the incorporation of post-industrial waste in the process offer strategic advantages.
Spelter, Henry; Winandy, Jerrold; Zauche, Timothy. 2008. Anaerobically digested bovine biofiber as a source of fiber for particleboard manufacturing: an economic analysis. BioResources. 3(4): 1256-1266.