MP11B Case Studies on Forestry Products
1:20 PM - 4:40 PM, Monday

() Life cycle assessment of borate treated wood products.

Bhatia, T1, Pepper, G1, Russell, A2, Turbull, S2, Simonian, C1, Manning, M1, 1 U.S. Borax, Inc., Valencia, CA, USA2 Five Winds International, Valencia, CA, USA

ABSTRACT- Rio Tinto Borax (Borax) has undertaken an initiative to integrate Sustainable Development into its business practices. At the outset of this effort, an internal team at the company established several objectives to help guide the project. These include employee safety, contribution to community needs, optimization of borate deposits, and sustainable development assessment of borate products and their applications. With regard to products and applications, Borax has completed cradle-to-gate Life Cycle Assessments of its products consistent with ISO 14040 series LCA standards. Further, among the first LCAs of borate applications, Borax has completed cradle-to-gate Life Cycle Assessments of Tim-bor® pressure treated lumber and zinc borate treated oriented strand board (OSB) structural sheathing. An important goal for the LCA work on borate treated lumber and OSB is to place the resulting data into authoritative databases such as ATHENA™ and BEES so that architects, engineers, and builders can better characterize the environmental sustainability of using borate treated structural materials in their building projects. Athena Sustainable Materials Institute (Athena) carried out an external expert review for the study. As a result, Athena was engaged throughout the study to review goal and scope definition and data as it was collected and modeled, as well as the final report. The analysis included consideration of the difference in impact if Tim-bor® lumber is re-dried after treatment. It was found that when the wood is not re-dried, the total primary energy demand decreases by 43%, and the total acidification impact decreases by 24%. This presentation will provide a summary of the methodology and results.

Key words: environmental, life cycle assessment, treated wood, oriented strand board

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