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Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
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Title: Achievements in the utilzation of poplar wood : guideposts for the future : [abstract]

Source: 21st Session of the International Poplar Commission (IPC 2000) : poplar and willow culture : meeting the needs of society and the environment. St. Paul, Minn. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station, 2000. General techn

Author(s)Balatinecz, John J.; Leclercq, Andre.; Kretschmann, David E.

Publication Year: 2000  View PDF »

Category: General Technical Reports

Abstract: Poplar wood is suitable and is utilized for a broad range of forest products worldwide. The utilization of any species is governed by a number of factors, such as basic wood properties, overall quality, quantity and price of the resource, available processing technologies, local as well as international market conditions for the products, and the availability and price ofcompeting products. The combined influence of these factors during the past 5 decades created a favorable environment for substantial growth in the poplar using industries globally, which is now stimulating major interest and investment in poplar growing. The many and varied uses of poplar wood include pulp and paper, lumber, veneer, plywood, composite panels, structural composite lumber, containers, pallets, furniture components, match splints, chop sticks, etc. The high cellulose and relatively low lignin content make poplars well suited for pulp and paper products. Poplar wood can be pulped by all commercial pulping methods, such as mechanical, semi-chemical, sulfate, and sulfite processes. Poplar pulps, in turn, are utilized in fine papers, tissues, paperboard, newsprint, and packaging papers. Poplar kraft pulps, when blended with softwood kraft, are particularly well suited to fine paper manufacture because of inherently desirable properties such as excellent sheet formation, high opacity, good bulk, and good printability. Recent technical advances in anthraquinone-catalyzed sulfite pulping are helping to increase pulp yield and strength properties of paper. While poplar wood continues to be an important raw material in the traditional lumber, veneer, and plywood industries, the most remarkable success story in poplar utilization is the phenomenal growth of the oriented strand board (OSB) and the structural composite lumber industries (e.g., composite I-beams, laminated veneer lumber or LVL, laminated strand lumber or LSL) in North America during the last decade. These products and their industries have grown to multibillion dollar scope in annual product value and are now the largest users of poplar fiber. One of the many advantages of composites is that they use wood fiber more efficiently than sawn lumber, and greater product uniformity is achieved through highly automated manufacturing processes. Future prospects for growing and utilizing poplar fiber resources look excellent. On the resource production side, opportunities for genetically modifying important wood properties, such as chemical composition, fiber quality, and natural durability of wood, can now be realized. On the resource utilization side, high value engineered composites and high yield pulp and paper products will represent the strongest growth sectors in poplar utilization during the coming decades.

Keywords: Populus, wood utilization, forest products, fiberboards

File size: 842 kb(s)
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Kretschmann, David E.
Research General Engineer

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