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Title: Cradle-to-gate life-cycle assessment of laminated veneer lumber production in the United States

Source: Forest Products Journal. Forest Products Journal. 67(5/6): 343-354.

Author(s)Bergman, Richard D.; Alanya-Rosenbaum, Sevda

Publication Year: 2017  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4851-7B

Abstract: To keep environmental product declarations current, the underlying life-cycle inventory (LCI) data and subsequent life-cycle assessment data for structural wood products must be updated. Primary data collected from the industry for the year 2012 were analyzed using the weighted-average to update LCIs for laminated veneer lumber (LVL) production on a 1-m3 basis in the Southeast (SE) and Pacific Northwest (PNW) regions of the United States. In addition, cradle-to-gate life-cycle impact assessments (LCIAs) were performed to assess the environmental impacts associated with LVL production for both regions. The cradle-to-gate LCIAs included three life-cycle stages: forestry operations, dry veneer production, and LVL production. The LCIs revealed that the dry veneer life-cycle stage dominated overall primary energy consumption for both the SE and the PNW at 6.83 (68.5%) and 6.75 GJ/m3 (75.3%), respectively. Energy consumption at the veneer stage was based primarily on renewable sources, especially wood fuel consumed on-site for thermal energy generation. In contrast, the LVL production stage was dependent mainly on fossil fuels, where the major resources consumed were natural gas and coal. The LCIA results showed that the veneer production stage dominated the majority of the five impact categories investigated with a greater than 50 percent contribution. Yet the LVL production stage had a significant contribution to the ozone depletion impact category, with 92 and 98 percent of total impact, for the SE and the PNW, respectively, coming from resin production used in LVL manufacturing. Overall, the contribution of forestry operations to the resulting impacts was minor.

Keywords: Wood; environmental performance; LCA; life cycle analysis; CORRIM; LVL; environmental impact assessment

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 846 kb(s)

Date posted: 07/12/2018

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 90555
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Bergman, Richard
Research Forest Products Technologist

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