Gate-To-Gate Life-Cycle Inventory of Oriented Strandboard Production


  • D. Earl Kline


Life-cycle inventory, carbon balance, oriented strandboard


A life-cycle Inventory (LCI) for Southeast oriented strandboard (OSB) manufacturing was conducted by surveying four OSB manufacturing plants in the Southeast. The survey responses were returned for 1999 production data and represented approximately 18% of OSB production in the survey region. All LCI data presented herein were based on a standard production unit of 0.88 m3 OSB panel product (1000 ft2, 3/8-inch basis).

Southeastern OSB requires 771.6 kg (1701 lb, oven-dry basis) of roundwood raw material input. 545.7 kg (1203 lb) of this input ends in final OSB product, giving a total wood recovery of 71%. The remaining wood input ends as wood residue for fuel, wood residues sold as co-products, and wood waste sent to the landfill.

On-site energy requirements for southeastern OSB are 5261 MJ (4.99 million BTU). Heat energy is the largest energy need, 89.6% of which is generated from combustion of wood residues. 182 kWh (655 MJ heat equivalent) of electricity is required for processing OSB. The highest use of fossil fuel (natural gas) is used to reduce VOC emissions in the emission control process at 465 MJ (4.4 million BTU).

Considering the carbon cycle for on-site OSB production for a unit of product, OSB requires 396 kg (873 lb) of carbon from wood raw material. Other carbon input is utilized in the form of resins/wax (11.4 kg/25 lb) and fuels (12.3kg/27 lb). OSB holds 290 kg (640 lb or 69% of total carbon input) carbon. A small percentage of carbon (4%) is held in the form of co-products (e.g. mulch and wood residues). The remainder of carbon is released back to nature in the form of non-fossil CO2 (24%), fossil CO2 (3%), VOCs and other emissions (0.4%).


APA—The Engineered Wood Association. 2001. E-mail from Craig Adair, Director, Market Research. North America production by geography 2000. March, 1 p.nBowyer, J., D. Briggs, B. Lippke, J. Perez-Garcia, and J. Wilson. 2004. Life cycle environmental performance of renewable materials in the context of residential construction. CORRIM Phase I Final Report. University of Washington, Seattle, WA. htpp:// pp.nConsortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM). 2001. Research Guidelines for Life Cycle Inventories. University of Washington, Seattle, WA.nInternational Organization for Standardization (ISO). 1997. Environmental management - life cycle assessment-principles and framework. ISO 14040. First Edition 1997-06-15. Geneva, Switzerland. 16 pp.nInternational Organization for Standardization (ISO). 1998. Environmental management-life cycle assessment-goal and scope definition and inventory analysis. ISO 14041. First Edition 1998-10-01. Geneva, Switzerland. 26 pp.nKline, E. 2004. Southeastern oriented strandboard production. In Corrim Phase I Final Report Module E. Life cycle environmental performance of renewable building materials in the context of residential construction. University of Washington, Seattle WA. htpp:// 75 pp.nLees, A. 1993. Future OSB plants will require latest environmental technologies. Panel World, May. pp. 18-29.nLippke, B. J. Wilson, J. Perez-Garcia, J. Bowyer, and J. Meil. CORRIM: 2004. Life cycle environmental performance of renewable building materials. Forest Prod. J. 54(6):8-19.nNational Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI). 1999. Volatile organic compound emissions from wood products manufacturing facilities, Part V-Oriented strandboard. Technical Bulletin No. 772. Research Triangle Park, NC. 98 pp.nPré Consultants B.V. 2001. SimaPro5 Life-Cycle Assessment Software Package, version 36. Plotter 12, 3821 BB Amersfoort, The Netherlands.'>, K. E., and G. A. Nicholson. 1998. Carbon cycling through wood products: The role of wood and paper products in carbon sequestration. Forest Prod. J. 48(7/8): 75-83.nUnited States Department of Energy (USDOE). 2000. State Electricity Profiles 2000.'>






Research Contributions