Zero-Emission Reconstituted Wood Panels for Building InteriorsEPA Contract Number: EPD17044
Title: Zero-Emission Reconstituted Wood Panels for Building Interiors
Investigators: Balachandra, Anagi
Small Business: Metna Co.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Project Period: September 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018
Project Amount: $100,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2017) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Green Buildings
Organic resin-bonded reconstituted wood products, including oriented strandboard (OSB) and medium density fiberboard (MDF), are major sources of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released to the building interior, that are harmful to human health. The main thrust of this project is to significantly reduce the release of VOCs by replacing organic resins with inorganic polymer binders in reconstituted wood panels. Inorganic polymers are zero-emission binders with significantly reduced energy content, carbon footprint and cost when compared with organic resins. Their technical, sustaninability and economic advantages have been demonstrated primarily in application to lightweight composite products used in extreme service environments. A preliminary feasibility study, conducted in the course of preparing this proposal, produced further evidence for the merits of inorganic polymers in the building applications targeted here. Reconstituted wood panels, including OSB and MDF account for $20 billion annual saled in the United States. The inherently high moisture resistance, thermal stability, fore resistance and durability as well as their distinctly low carbon footprint, energy content and cost of inorganic polymers are anticipated to provide reconstituted wood products with major initial and life-cycle economic and sustainability advantages while significantly improving the safety and longevity of buildings.