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Pretreating Wood Chips for Manufacturing Medium Density Fiberboard

Photo of Aqueous extract solutions under different pretreatments. Steve Schmieding, Forest ServiceAqueous extract solutions under different pretreatments. Steve Schmieding, Forest ServiceSnapshot : FPL researchers studied how pretreating wood chips before manufacturing medium density fiberboard affected both the end product and the amount of carbohydrates extracted as a potential resource for biofuels or bio-based chemical production.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Cai, Zhiyong 
Research Station : Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 306


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.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Biopulping International Inc.Central South University of Forestry and Technology, China