Understanding of Formaldehyde Emissions from Solid Wood: An Overview

Mohamed Zidan Mohamed Salem, Martin Böhm

Abstract


Wood is known to contain and emit volatile organic compounds including formaldehyde. The emission of formaldehyde from wood increases during its processing to lumber and wood-based panels (i.e., particleboard and fiberboard). This increased emission can be attributed to the processing procedure of wood, which includes drying, pressing, and thermo-hydrolysis. Formaldehyde is emitted from wood under very high heat and is not expected to be a significant source of the emissions from composite wood products during normal service. Formaldehyde is also detectable even if wood has never been heated as well as under more or less ambient conditions. The presence of formaldehyde in the emissions from wood that does not contain adhesive resin has been explained by thermal degradation of polysaccharides in the wood. The emission levels of formaldehyde depend on factors such as wood species, moisture content, outside temperature, and time of storage. Additionally, the pyrolysis of milled wood lignin at 450 °C yields benzaldehyde, and the pyrolysis of spruce and pinewood at 450 °C generate formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, 2–propenal, butanal, and butanone, which can be attributed to the breakdown of the polysaccharide fraction of the wood.

Keywords


Formaldehyde emission; Solid wood

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