Strategic raw material supply for the particleboard-producing industry in Europe Problems and challenges

University dissertation from Växjö : Linnaeus University Press

Abstract: Particleboard was invented to increase the utilization of wood and it soon became an important core material for furniture production. Nowadays, other industries such as the pulp and papermaking industry and the thermal energy recovery industry claim the same type of raw material. This leads to increasing competition and higher prices than in the past when that kind of wood raw material was widely available and of low price. The particleboard-producing industry is therefore seeking opportunities to reduce the competition and ensure the future supply of lignocellulosic raw material for their products.The purpose of the work summarised in this thesis was to investigate the strategic supply of lignocellulosic raw materials for particleboard production and to evaluate alternatives for the supply of lignocellulosic raw material for particleboard production.To encompass the complex field of strategic raw material supply, several publications have considered different stages along the supply chain. These papers range from empirical studies to practical tests on a laboratory scale. In this thesis, some of the papers are linked together, building the base for the overall results.The results show that the task of increasing the supply of lignocellulosic raw material as primary raw material source is limited by several factors, but that improved product design coupled with a suitable recycling concept can greatly increase the availability of lignocellulosic raw material as a secondary source. Alternatively, the use of non-wood plants might be an opportunity to substitute wood as raw material but there are still some problems relating to the particle properties which must be overcome first.

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