Carbon Storage in Engineered Wood Products in Landfills

Carbon Storage in Engineered Wood Products in Landfills

Each year approximately two million tonnes of wood and engineered wood products (EWPs) are disposed of in Australian landfills.

This project determined the long-term storage of carbon in particleboard, medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and high-pressure laminate (HPL) in landfill and also in optimal laboratory decay conditions. The particleboard and MDF reactors produced gas (predominantly methane) for two months and then stopped, while high-pressure laminate did not produce any gas. The results show carbon loss was very low: particleboard stored 98.25% of its initial carbon, MDF stored 99.35% and high-pressure laminate stored 100%.

These findings show that virtually all of the carbon in EWPs disposed of in Australian landfills can be considered to be stored indefinitely, that EWPs have a real beneficial impact on greenhouse gas mitigation efforts and factors used to determine greenhouse gas emissions from wood and EWPs in landfills should be drastically reduced to reflect the findings of this study.

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