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Environmental profile analysis of particleboard production: a study in a Pakistani technological condition

  • Majid Hussain
  • Riffat Naseem Malik
  • Adam Taylor
EXERGY AND LCA
  • 190 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

Particleboard is a composite panel comprising small pieces of wood bonded by adhesives. The particleboard industry is growing in Pakistan, but there is little information on the environmental impacts associated with this product. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a life cycle assessment of particleboard manufactured in Pakistan and to provide suggestions to improve its environmental profile. The study covers energy use and associated environmental impacts of raw materials and processes during particleboard manufacture in the year 2015–2016.

Methods

The study uses a cradle-to-gate (distribution center) life cycle assessment approach. The reference unit for this study was 1.0 m3 of finished, uncoated particleboard. Primary data from the particleboard mill surveys were combined with secondary database information and modeled using CML 2000 v.2.05 methodology and a cumulative exergy demand indicator present in the SimaPro v.8.3 software.

Results and discussion

The results reveal that urea formaldehyde resin, transportation of raw materials, and finished product distribution had the highest contribution to all the environmental impact categories evaluated. Heavy fuel oil and natural gas consumption was responsible for abiotic depletion, photochemical oxidation, ozone layer depletion, and marine aquatic ecotoxicity impacts. The rotary dryer and hot press were the most important sectors in terms of emissions from the manufacturing process. The total cumulative exergy demand required for manufacturing of 1.0 m3 particleboard was 15,632 MJ-eq, with most of the energy usage associated with non-renewable, fossil fuel sources. A sensitivity analysis was conducted for a reduction in the quantity of urea formaldehyde resin consumed and freight transport distances.

Conclusions

The results indicated that reducing the urea formaldehyde resin use and freight distances could greatly decrease environmental impacts. Most of the surveyed mills did not have emissions control systems, and most of the mills exceed the limits set by the National Environmental Quality Standards of Pakistan. Environmental impact improvements might be attained by reducing quantity of urea formaldehyde resin and transportation freight distances and by installing pollution control devices.

Keywords

Cumulative exergy demand Environmental impacts Hotspot Life cycle assessment Pakistan Particleboard SimaPro Wood 

Abbreviations

AD

Abiotic depletion

AP

Acidification potential

CExD

Cumulative exergy demand

CORRIM

Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials

EP

Eutrophication potential

FAE

Freshwater aquatic ecotoxicity

FSMP

Forestry sector master plan

GDP

Gross domestic product

GWP

Global warming potential

HAPs

Hazardous air pollutants

HFO

Heavy fuel oil

HT

Human toxicity

kgCO2e

Kilogram carbon dioxide equivalents

LCA

Life cycle assessment

LCIA

Life cycle impact assessment

LCI

Life cycle inventory

LPG

Liquefied petrol gas

MAE

Marine-water aquatic ecotoxicity

MJ-eq

Mega Joule-equivalents

OLD

Ozone layer depletion

PM

Particulate matter

PO

Photochemical oxidation

RCOs

Regenerative catalytic oxidizers

RTOs

Regenerative thermal oxidizers

TE

Terrestrial ecotoxicity

UF resin

Urea formaldehyde resin

VOCs

Volatile organic hydrocarbons

PB

Particleboard

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the responding particleboard mills and their workers from the different industrial zones of Pakistan for their participation in the questionnaire survey and energy audit program. The principal author also pays special thanks to Higher Education Commission, Pakistan for granting scholarship for 6 months research visit under the International Research Support Initiative Programme (IRSIP) to the Center for Renewable Carbon, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Agency, Pakistan is highly obliged for providing air emission data for particleboard industries. We also gratefully acknowledge three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the contributing entities.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared no conflict of interest in publishing this article.

Supplementary material

11367_2017_1385_MOESM1_ESM.docx (154 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 153 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Majid Hussain
    • 1
    • 2
  • Riffat Naseem Malik
    • 2
  • Adam Taylor
    • 3
  1. 1.Environmental Biology and Ecotoxicology Laboratory, Department of Environmental SciencesQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Forestry and Wildlife ManagementUniversity of HaripurKhyber PakhtunkhwaPakistan
  3. 3.Center for Renewable Carbon, Department of Forestry, Wildlife and FisheriesUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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