The natural composition of wood is not compatible with the use of such material in outdoor environments as it is exposed to severe degradation agents. In order to protect it from the negative effects of such agents, wood can be a subject to specific treatments. Wood treatments are considered as “passive” when they modify only the properties of the material without altering its chemical composition (impregnation). Conversely, “active” treatments modify the chemical nature of wood. These treatments (thermal and chemical) produce a different material known as “modified wood”. The overall environmental performance of wood treatments has not received much attention in the scientific or technical literature. This is in contrast with the recent methodologies of process analysis and assessment, which underline that this aspect can be critical for the selection of the most appropriate technology. The paper reports the results of a preliminary environmental assessment of a pole made of pine wood for outdoor use which was subject to three treatments: impregnation, thermal treatment and acetylation. The study assesses the environmental impact of the treatment process but not of the final product. In addition, the environmental impact here discussed is limited to one impact category (Global Warming Potential – GWP) of the life-cycle assessment methodology.

Assessment of the global warming potential of a wood product for outdoor use

BULIAN, FRANCO;PADOANO, Elio;POZZETTO, DARIO;SBURLINO, MICHELE;ZANELLO, RICCARDO
2015

Abstract

The natural composition of wood is not compatible with the use of such material in outdoor environments as it is exposed to severe degradation agents. In order to protect it from the negative effects of such agents, wood can be a subject to specific treatments. Wood treatments are considered as “passive” when they modify only the properties of the material without altering its chemical composition (impregnation). Conversely, “active” treatments modify the chemical nature of wood. These treatments (thermal and chemical) produce a different material known as “modified wood”. The overall environmental performance of wood treatments has not received much attention in the scientific or technical literature. This is in contrast with the recent methodologies of process analysis and assessment, which underline that this aspect can be critical for the selection of the most appropriate technology. The paper reports the results of a preliminary environmental assessment of a pole made of pine wood for outdoor use which was subject to three treatments: impregnation, thermal treatment and acetylation. The study assesses the environmental impact of the treatment process but not of the final product. In addition, the environmental impact here discussed is limited to one impact category (Global Warming Potential – GWP) of the life-cycle assessment methodology.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2843777
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