Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Life-cycle inventory of plywood manufacturing in the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast United States Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/vx021j349

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  • Softwood plywood is one of the structural wood products studied in the CORRIM II effort to document the environmental performance of wood product in residential structures. Life-cycle inventory (LCI) models were developed to provide performance data for plywood production by tracking all of its inputs and outputs in a gate-to-gate analysis. The models divided the plywood process into the primary subunit processes of debarking and bucking, log conditioning, peeling and clipping of veneer, veneer drying, lay up and hot pressing of plywood, and trimming and sawing. A hogged fuel fired boiler process and a phenol formaldehyde production model were also included. Modeling plywood production with subunit processes provided detailed analysis of the operation and enabled optimization studies. Model inputs were electricity, fuel, and materials of wood in the form of logs and adhesive, while the outputs were plywood, wood co-products, and environmental emissions to the air, land and water. SimaPro, an environmental impact assessment software package, was used to analyze the data to provide an LCI. The study was done for two major wood producing regions of the United States - the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast. Various process scenarios were modeled, providing useful information such as a sensitivity of input parameters and an impact assessment of the type of fuel used to generate heat for processing. A carbon balance of wood used in plywood manufacturing was performed to compare the amount of carbon going into plywood production with the amount of carbon coming out as materials and emissions. Finally, a cost analysis was done to compare plywood production costs with the open market selling price of plywood. Electricity, fuel, and resin use contributed a significant amount of emissions in plywood production. Log conditioning, veneer drying, and panel pressing subunit process consumed more than half the electricity used (55%) and also used all the heat energy inputted into the process. The sensitivity analysis of switching fuel sources for heat energy indicated that natural gas used as a fuel input, resulted in higher greenhouse gases (CO2 (fossil), methane, NON, SON) emissions when compared to hogged fuel comprised of bark and wood waste. Hogged fuel used as a fuel resulted in less CO7 (fossil) emissions but increased in CO and phenol emissions (hazardous air pollutant) when compared to natural gas. A carbon balance documented all carbon material and compared the wood inputs with wood related outputs including plywood, co-products, air and solid emissions. The carbon balance can be used as a benchmark to continue research of the carbon cycle to reduce greenhouse gas, CO2. The model can be used as a tool in developing useful strategies for examining the consequences of process and equipment changes, and for optimizing the environmental performance of a process.
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