The Athena Sustainable Materials Institute recently completed an update of four cradle-to-gate life cycle assessments (LCAs) of wood product resin systems, including urea-formaldehyde (UF), melamine-urea-formaldehyde (MUF), phenol-formaldehyde (PF) and phenol-resorcinol-formaldehyde (PRF). Additionally, Athena developed new cradle-to-gate LCAs for melamine-formaldehyde (MF), emulsion polymer isocyanate (EPI) and polymer emulsion polyurethane (PEP) wood resins. The report titled, A Cradle-to-Gate Life Cycle Assessment of North American Wood Product Resin Systems, was funded by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities and the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory.
The main goal of the LCA study is to make the life cycle inventory (LCI) indicators for wood resins available to an audience of architectural, engineering and specifying professionals, LCA tool developers, academia, governmental organizations and policymakers. The LCA provides a systematic analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the wood resins but does not directly compare the systems. The audience can rely on the information in the report as accurate and verified and may use the data for comparative purposes or as an assessment of new technologies.