Life-Cycle Inventory of Medium Density Fiberboard 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 medium-density fiberboard (MDF), a composite wood panel product comprised of wood fibers, urea-formaldehyde resin, wax, and other additives. Data are given for both on-site (MDF manufacture) and cradle-to-product gate (from the MDF upstream to in-ground resources) that includes those environmental impacts to produce and deliver input fuels, electricity, water, wood residue, resin, wax, and scavenger. LCI output data are given for raw materials use and emissions to air, water, and land. Data are also presented on embodied energy, carbon flux, store, and footprint. MDF has favorable characteristics in terms of energy use and carbon store. Of significance is the large component of embodied energy from wood fuel use, a renewable resource, and its small carbon footprint that lessens its impact on climate change.


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

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