LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT FOR OIL PALM BASED PLYWOOD: A GATE-TO-GATE CASE STUDY
M. Shamim Ahmad, Vijaya Subramaniam, Halimah Mohammad, Anis Mokhtar and B. S. Ismail
DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2014.86.93
American Journal of Environmental Sciences
Volume 10, Issue 1
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an important tool for identifying potential environmental impacts associated with the production of palm based plywood. This study is to make available the life cycle inventory for gate-to-gate data so that the environmental impact posed by oil palm based plywood production can be assessed. Conducting an LCA on the palm based plywood that are derived from the wastes of the oil palm industry is a first step towards performing green environmental product. Therefore.establishing baseline information for the complete environmental profile of the palm oil plywood is essential. Data from this study on the environmental impact for the production of palm plywood would help to develop sustainable palm plywood product. The results will provide information to identify ways and measures to reduce the environmental impacts. Most foreground data were collected directly from numbers oil palm plywood factories which represent 40% of the palm plywood industry in Peninsular Malaysia. Data gaps were filled by information obtained through questionnaires which were developed specifically for data collection, literature, public database or further calculated from obtained data. The outputs and inputs from production activities were quantified on the basis of functional unit of production of 1 m3 from different types of oil palm based plywood i.e., Moisture Resistant (MR), Weather Boiling Proof (WBP) Grade 1 and Weather Boiling Proof (WBP) Grade 2. The life cycle impact assessment was carried out using SimaPro 7.1 software and the eco-indicator 99 methodology. The weighting results of LCA for the production of 1 cubic meter of oil palm based plywood showed significant impact in descending order i.e., fossil fuel, respiratory inorganic and climate change. The most significant process contributing to these environmental impacts came from the production and usage of adhesives, transportation of oil palm trunks from plantation to factory and generation and usage of electricity from the grid. The ways to mitigate the environmental impacts are by using substitutes for inorganic chemical adhesives such as groundnut shell lignin adhesive, modified phenol formaldehyde adhesive and developing wood adhesive made from pyrolisis oil of oil palm biomass, establishing a collecting centre for oil palm trunk transportation and efficient use of oil palm biomass as an energy source. The study helped establishing baseline information for the complete environmental profile of the palm oil industry from cradle to grave which starts at the oil palm germinated seeds to the production of palm plywood.
© 2014 M. Shamim Ahmad, Vijaya Subramaniam, Halimah Mohammad, Anis Mokhtar and B. S. Ismail. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.