Aldehyde emissions from particleboard and medium density fiberboard products

      Indoor air quality problems resulting from the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have become an issue of increasing concern. Emissions from building and furnishing materials, which are frequently constructed from particleboard and medium density fiberboard (MDF), are a potentially important contributor of indoor VOCs. In this research, VOC emissions from particleboard and MDF were measured in small (53-L) stainless steel chambers for 4 days. Samples were collected from 53 of the 61 U.S. mills that produce particleboard and MDF. Each mill identified the predominant tree species used to manufacture the panels. Laboratory tests were conducted at room temperature and 45 percent relative humidity. Gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric analysis was used to identify and quantify VOC compounds. The predominant compounds identified in the emissions from particleboard and MDF samples were terpenes and aldehydes, although small straight-chain alcohols and ketones were also found. This study describes the aldehyde emission data, excluding formaldehyde. Emissions of small straight-chain aldehydes, such as hexanal, pentanal, heptanal, octanal, and nonanal, generally exceeded emissions of other compounds and accounted for more than 50 percent of total VOC emissions. All 53 particleboard and 16 of 18 MDF samples emitted hexanal, the most prevalent aldehyde found (excluding formaldehyde). The tests showed differences in VOC composition and emission factors by product and tree type. On average, aldehyde emissions from southern pine MDF samples considerably exceeded the aldehyde emissions from southern pine particleboard. Emissions from all other MDF samples, however, were lower than those from particleboard samples in the same species group. With the exception of formaldehyde, aldehydes are not added to the adhesives used to bond wood, and they have not previously been reported as extractable compounds in wood. Degradation of the wood or its secondary metabolites is probably responsible for the presence of the aldehydes. 2000

This article is in PDF format (file size: 175 kb). To download this article, right click on the link immediately below and choose "save target as". To view the article, left click the link immediately below.
(Download the latest Acrobat Reader if required.)

Aldehyde emissions from particleboard and medium density fiberboard products   (2000)

Indoor air quality problems resulting from the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have become an issue of increasing concern. Emissions from building and furnishing materials, which are frequently constructed from particleboard and medium density fiberboard (MDF), are a potentially important contributor of indoor VOCs. In this research, VOC emissions from particleboard and MDF were measured in small (53-L) stainless steel chambers for 4 days. Samples were collected from 53 of the 61 U.S. mills that produce particleboard and MDF. Each mill identified the predominant tree species used to manufacture the panels. Laboratory tests were conducted at room temperature and 45 percent relative humidity. Gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric analysis was used to identify and quantify VOC compounds. The predominant compounds identified in the emissions from particleboard and MDF samples were terpenes and aldehydes, although small straight-chain alcohols and ketones were also found. This study describes the aldehyde emission data, excluding formaldehyde. Emissions of small straight-chain aldehydes, such as hexanal, pentanal, heptanal, octanal, and nonanal, generally exceeded emissions of other compounds and accounted for more than 50 percent of total VOC emissions. All 53 particleboard and 16 of 18 MDF samples emitted hexanal, the most prevalent aldehyde found (excluding formaldehyde). The tests showed differences in VOC composition and emission factors by product and tree type. On average, aldehyde emissions from southern pine MDF samples considerably exceeded the aldehyde emissions from southern pine particleboard. Emissions from all other MDF samples, however, were lower than those from particleboard samples in the same species group. With the exception of formaldehyde, aldehydes are not added to the adhesives used to bond wood, and they have not previously been reported as extractable compounds in wood. Degradation of the wood or its secondary metabolites is probably responsible for the presence of the aldehydes.

Author: Baumann, Melissa G. D.; Lorenz, Linda F.; Batterman, Stuart A.; Zhang, Guo-Zheng

Source: Forest products journal. Vol. 50, no. 9 (Sept. 2000).:p. 75-82 : ill.

Citation: Baumann, Melissa G. D.; Lorenz, Linda F.; Batterman, Stuart A.; Zhang, Guo-Zheng  2000.  Aldehyde emissions from particleboard and medium density fiberboard products   Forest products journal. Vol. 50, no. 9 (Sept. 2000).:p. 75-82 : ill..

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: FPL (Forest Products Laboratory)

  • KnowledgeBase: Forestry

  • KnowledgeBase: FPL (Forest Products Laboratory)


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article