Life-Cycle Inventory of Particleboard in Terms of Resources, Emissions, Energy and Carbon

James B. Wilson


Life-cycle inventory (LCI) data are needed to scientifically document the environmental performance of materials for applications as governed by the many new green building standards, purchasing guidelines, and energy and climate change policy issues. This study develops the LCI data for particleboard, a composite wood panel product comprised of wood particles, urea-formaldehyde resin, wax, and other additives. Data are given for both gate-to-gate (particleboard manufacture) and cradle-to-gate (from the product upstream to in-ground resources) that, in addition to gate-to-gate impacts, include those to produce and deliver input fuels, electricity, water, wood residue, resin, wax, catalyst, and scavenger. LCI output data are given per 1.0 m3 of particleboard in terms of raw materials use and emissions to air, water, and land. Data are also presented on embodied energy, carbon flux, store, and footprint. Particleboard has favorable characteristics in terms of energy use and carbon store. Of significance for the LCI of particleboard is the large component of embodied energy because of the use of wood fuel, a renewable resource, and its small carbon footprint, which lessens its impact on climate change.


Environmental performance;particleboard;wood products;life-cycle inventory;LCI;CORRIM;embodied energy;carbon store;carbon footprint

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