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Wood Protection and Environmental Performance of Products - Impacts COST Action FP1407 Aims to Bring
2016 - IRG/WP 16-50323
Though many aspects of wood modification (chemical, thermal, impregnation) treatments are known, the fundamental influence of the process on product performance, the environment, and end of life scenarios remain unknown. To contribute to the low-carbon economy and sustainable development, it is essential to integrate interactive assessment of process parameters, developed product properties, and environmental impacts. Therefore, a group of researchers joint in a COST Action FP1407 “Understanding wood modification through an integrated scientific and environmental impact approach”. The main objective of the Action FP1407 is to characterize the relationship between wood modification processing, product properties, and the associated environmental impacts in order to maximize sustainability and minimize environmental impacts. The Action aims to provide the critical mass of Europe-wide knowledge needed to achieve the future developments in the field. The networking, multi-disciplinary, exchange of knowledge, and scientific excellence, as well as the expertise of industrial members, will enable comprehensive research and development of modification processing and products design with emphasis on their environmental impacts. This paper will briefly introduce the mechanism COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) and the key research areas, work plan and secondary objectives of this Action FP1407 with the focus on environmental impact assessments. The life cycle assessment (LCA) and environmental product declarations (EPDs) are introduced with examples of LCA studies of wood products. The paper concludes with discussion about the impacts of the Action FP1407 in the field of environmental performance of wood products.
A Kutnar

Declaring life cycle inventory of toxicity related emissions in environmental product declarations of preservative treated wood products
2018 - IRG/WP 18-50339
Life cycle assessment (LCA) including impacts on toxicity for preservative treated wood has been shown to have large uncertainties. With the growing demand for verified LCA in environmental product declarations (EPD), the need for reliable data is crucial for realistic assessment of wood products. Uncertainty is caused by several issues such as service life prediction, leaching rates and calculation of the environmental impacts of leaching and other emissions, known as life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). The goal of this paper is to present suggestions for declaring life cycle inventory (LCI) results in EPD in the European context and to give recommendations for developing realistic methods for LCIA of these inventory results. The LCI should be based on existing methods used in risk assessments demanded for the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR), but has to be calculated relative to the functional unit in the EPD. The minimum requirement should be that the LCI should include emissions arising from the manufacturing process and use. Information about the geographical, timing and metal speciation should also be documented, so that realistic characterisation factors can be developed for the LCIA. Generic characterisation factors for LCIA of preservative treated wood should not be used for LCA, as the results would have very high uncertainties. Further research should be performed to developed realistic characterisation factors for LCIA of toxicity related emissions from wood products.
L G F Tellnes, C Askham, P-O Flæte, M Klamer