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    Description

    Documenting the environmental performance of building products is becoming widespread because of many green-marketing claims made without scientific merit (i.e., green-washing). Developing environmental product declarations (EPDs) for building products is one way to accomplish this objective for scientific documentation and to counter green-washing. EPDs are based on life-cycle assessment (LCA) data and are similar to nutritional labels for food. To develop a business-to-business (B2B) EPD for uncoated cellulosic fiberboard, gate-to-gate life-cycle inventory (LCI) data must be developed to construct the cradle-to-gate LCA. This study used the internationally recognized LCI method to develop the needed gate-to-gate LCI data. Primary data were collected from seven cellulosic fiberboard plants that represented over 96% of cellulosic fiberboard production in North America. The primary data were then weight-averaged on a per-unit basis of one cubic meter of uncoated cellulosic fiberboard (254 ovendry (OD) kg/m3) to calculate material flows and energy use. Cumulative allocated energy consumption associated with manufacturing 1.0 m3 of uncoated cellulosic fiberboard from 244 OD kg of various feedstocks was found to be 8.63 GJ/m3, with 6% of the primary energy provided by burning wood residues. Emission data produced through modeling the production process found that estimated biomass and fossil carbon dioxide emissions were 43.2 and 298 kg/m3, respectively. Our analysis estimated that 1.0 m3 of uncoated cellulosic fiberboard stores 477 kg CO2-equivalents, assuming carbon content of wood to be 50%. The amount of carbon stored in cellulosic fiberboard exceeds the total carbon dioxide emissions during manufacturing by 30%. Therefore, cellulosic fiberboard’s ability to store carbon when in use as a building product is a positive environmental attribute. From this study, the needed gate-to-gate LCI data can now be incorporated into the cradle-to-gate LCA to develop the B2B EPD.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Bergman, Richard D. 2014. Life-Cycle Inventory Analysis of Cellulosic Fiberboard Production in North America. In: Proceedings, Society of Wood Science and Technology 57th International Convention. June 23-27, 2014. Zvolen, Slovakia: 2014; pp. 542-550.

    Keywords

    environmental product declaration, cellulosic fiberboard, LCA, life-cycle inventory, wood.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/46267