Skip to Main Content
Life cycle impacts of North American wood panel ManufacturingAuthor(s): Richard Bergman; D. Kaestner; A. M. Taylor
Source: Wood and Fiber Science 48: pp. 40-53
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Forest Products Laboratory
PDF: Download Publication (666.0 KB)
DescriptionManufacturing building products such as wood panels impacts the environment, including contributing to climate change. This study is a compilation of four studies quantifying these impacts using the life cycle assessment (LCA) method on five wood-based panel products made in North America during 2012. LCA is an internationally accepted and standardized method for evaluating the environmentalimpacts of products. With LCA, holistic environmental impacts were calculated based on survey data from mills on emissions to air and water, solid waste, energy consumption, and resource use. This study incorporated cradleto-gate production of nonwood materials including additives and energy products, such as natural gas and coal, consumed at the production facilities. In addition, primary transport of wood materials to the production facilities was included. These primary data were entered in LCA modeling software on a production unit of 1 m3 of the panel to estimate manufacturing gateto-gate life cycle inventory (LCI) flows and major environmental impacts. The LCI flows and environmental impacts were converted to a functional unit of 1 m2 of the wood panel (ie final product) produced. The following products were evaluated with their stated panel thicknesses in millimeters: oriented strandboard (9.5), Southeast (SE) and Pacific Northwest (PNW) softwood plywood (9.5), cellulosic fiberboard (12.7), and hardboard (3.2). Results are provided on cumulative primary energy consumption (CPEC) and global warming impacts (GWI). CPEC was 74.0, 73.5 (SE), 68.7 (PNW), 76.0, and 88.3 MJ/m2, with biomass-derived energy percentage of 50, 50 (SE), 64 (PNW), 12, and 47, respectively. GWI was 1.97, 1.90 (SE), 1.23 (PNW), 3.91, and 2.47 kg CO2 equivalent/m2, respectively. Densities and panel thicknesses have the greatest impacts on converting from a cubic meter to a square meter basis. The panel products evaluated here are mostly not interchangeable. Thus, results for the panel products should not be compared. Using woody biomass energy for panel production decreases their contribution to climate change.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationBergman, R. D.; Kaestner, D.; Taylor, A. M. 2016. Life cycle impacts of North American wood panel manufacturing. Wood and Fiber Science. 48: 40-53.
KeywordsWood panels, environmental performance, GHG, climate change, building materials
- Environmental Performance of North American Wood Panel Manufacturing
- Life-Cycle Inventory Analysis of I-joist Production in the United States
- Life-Cycle Inventory Analysis of Laminated Veneer Lumber Production in the United States
XML: View XML