A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Construction and demolition waste as a raw material for wood polymer composites - Assessment of environmental impacts

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Liikanen M., Grönman K., Deviatkin I., Havukainen J., Hyvärinen M., Kärki T., Varis J., Soukka R., Horttanainen M.
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2019
Language: English
Journal acronym: JCPL
Volume number: 225
Start page: 716
End page: 727
Number of pages: 12
ISSN: 0959-6526
eISSN: 1879-1786
JUFO-Level of this publication: 2
Open Access: Open Access publication
Location of the parallel saved publication: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2019041111899


The European Commission's ambitious construction and demolition waste (CDW) material recovery target has placed pressure on Finland to increase its CDW material recovery rate. It has been identified that using CDW fractions, e.g. waste wood, plastic, mineral wool and plasterboard, as raw materials for wood polymer composites (WPCs) may help in reaching the CDW material recovery target. The objectives of this study were to assess the environmental impacts of WPC production using specific CDW fractions, namely wood, plastic, plasterboard and mineral wool, as raw materials, and to compare these impacts with the baseline situation where these CDW fractions are treated with conventional waste treatment methods such as landfilling and incineration. The study focused primarily on the depletion of fossil hydrocarbons and climate change. The results indicate that, when compared to the baseline situation, the environmental impacts of CDW management can be decreased when CDW fractions are used in WPC production. By substituting WPCs for plastic or aluminium, considerable environmental benefits can be achieved in terms of the aforementioned impact categories. Due to the differences in the physical and mechanical properties of WPCs compared to plastic and aluminium, WPCs cannot necessarily substitute them in a mass-based ratio of 1:1. This was acknowledged in the study by identifying minimum substitution rates for different materials. For instance, the produced WPCs should substitute at least 6% of plastic and 8% of aluminium in order to decrease the impact on climate change compared to the advanced waste management scenario. Therefore, in applications where WPCs can be used as a substitute for these materials, WPC product design and development should be prioritised.

LUT Focus Areas

Last updated on 2020-20-03 at 10:03