The concept of value prior to pulping (extracting components from wood before it is pulped for production of chemical and liquid fuel products) has been proposed in the pulp and paper sciences because of renewed interest in cellulosic biofuel production. FPL researchers evaluated the effect of oxalic acid (OA) pretreatment of wood chips prior to refining on both energy reduction during the refining process and the physical performance of medium density fiberboard (MDF) manufactured using this pretreated fiber. In addition, the effect of the OA treatment on carbohydrates from wood was investigated. The results showed that the OA treatment significantly reduced refining energy and improved MDF panel dimensional stability and lightness. However, the OA treatment had a negative effect on the internal bonding strength of MDF panels. The amount of extracted carbohydrates dramatically increased, up to 24 times, by the use of OA in the pretreatment. Carbohydrates extracted from wood chips could be a potential sustainable resource for biofuel or bio-based chemicals.