Development and pilot production of sustainable bio-binder systems for wood-based panels: LCA current state-of-the-art resins

The SUSBIND consortium develops, produces and tests bio-based adhesive systems as an alternative to adhesive systems based on a formaldehyde resin, as currently used for wood-based panel boards in furniture mass production. SUSBIND aims at producing these bio-based adhesive systems with leading wood board manufacturers for two product types: P2 particleboard (PB) and medium density fibreboard (MDF). The resulting bio-based adhesive system aims to outperform current conventional adhesive systems by means of a significantly lower carbon footprint, while also reducing emissions toxic to humans. As a first step in a SUSBIND research project providing guidance on environmental aspects we have analysed the environmental impact of the current petrochemical adhesives used in PB and MDF for furniture. This environmental impact (carbon footprint, human toxicity potential) will be used as a baseline with which to compare the new SUSBIND adhesive. For further carbon footprint assessments in SUSBIND we recommend comparing the bio-based to conventional adhesives using the lowest carbon footprints presented. These are 490 g CO2 eq. for PB (based on UF-adhesive) and 650 g CO2 eq. for MDF (also based on UF-adhesive) per piece of board as defined in the functional unit. These represent comparatively ambitious benchmarks for the SUSBIND project.