Evaluating sustainability: converting wood waste to energy and recycling for particleboard production

Main Presenter:    Sahar Safarianbana;Nilay Elginoz;Zeinab Movahedisaveji 

Co-Authors:   Joran Van Blokland     Stergios Adamopoulos                                          

Disposing of waste wood represents not only a loss but also a missed opportunity to use valuable secondary resource. Wood waste, a renewable resource, can be efficiently repurposed for the particleboard manufacturing or as an energy source. The wood waste recycling into particleboard is a well-established practice, and the utilization of biomass for energy production has gained attention for its potential to harness energy and mitigate GHGs. This study aims to evaluate the environmental, social, and techno-economic advantages of producing particleboard and generating energy from wood waste.
This research investigates two systems for waste wood disposal. The first system involves production of electricity and heat through the wood waste treatment, while the second system, in addition to energy recovery, includes partial recycling of wood waste for use in particleboard production. A life cycle assessment (LCA) is conducted to compare these systems in terms of climate change impact, profit, and health and safety indicators.
The results shows that a wood waste system that produces heat and power, while also recycling some parts of the wood for particleboard production is the most beneficial compared to another system in view of sustainability indicators. By using wood waste as a fuel source, it ensures that the maximum energy potential of the wood is harnessed. This not only minimizes waste but also reduces the need for other energy sources that might have higher CO2 emissions. Moreover, wood waste recycling for particleboard production minimizes the need for virgin timber, which can lead to deforestation. By reusing the wood waste, it reduces the overall demand for new wood, thereby lowering the CO2 emissions associated with logging and transportation.
This alternative also makes the higher profit due to the highest revenue coming from the electricity and recycling the particleboards. In other way, recycling of wood waste can contribute to better health and safety by reducing of fire hazards, air pollution, prevention of hazardous materials as well as higher workplace safety and controlled process. Accumulated wood waste, especially in outdoor settings, poses a significant fire hazard. By recycling wood waste, the volume of combustible materials is reduced, and recycling wood waste instead of burning it helps mitigate air pollution and creating a healthier environment. Wood waste, especially from treated or painted wood, may contain hazardous substances. Proper recycling processes can ensure the safe removal and disposal of these materials, preventing potential health risks associated with exposure to harmful chemicals.

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