Project: Developing and implementing formaldehyde online-senor systems in wood-based panel processing

The main objective of the project was the development of systems to determine formaldehyde emissions of wood-based panels both in a laboratory and online or atline during production of the panels. The system to be used in the laboratory should be capable of complementing, or, at best, replacing the established methods for determination of formaldehyde release / content during production control. With the online / atline system, measuring formaldehyde emission parallel to production should be established in order to integrate the results into statistic process control. Another focus of the project was to study the effects of various raw materials (e.g., recycled wood), and of production parameters on the formaldehyde release of particle boards. Furthermore, a process model based on multivariate data analysis should be build to improve the understanding of interrelations between process and product. The system for determining formaldehyde release from wood-based panels established in this project consists of a combination of Solid Phase Micro Extraction (SPME) for sample preparation with a GC-FAIMS-system (Gaschromatography-High Field Asymmetric Waveform Ion Mobility Spectrometry) for qualitative and quantitative analysis. The GC-FAIMS-device was adapted to the requirements of the task and in part newly developed during the project. The system was tested during several trials at a manufacturer’s site. It was shown that particles as well as small blocks were suitable as sample material for SPME-GC-FAIMS. The measuring interval was 20 to 25 minutes, thus being much quicker than standardised methods (perforator, gas analysis) which need several hours to yield results. A correlation between the results of SPME-GC-FAIMS and of the standardised methods was established. Because of the short intervals between the measurements the developed system is well suited for process control. But the precision has to be improved in order to substitute the established methods for production control. This can be realized by further automating the system. Regarding the effects of raw materials and production parameters on the formaldehyde release of particle boards, laboratory trials showed that using recycled wood has an influence on the formaldehyde release of the product. Even when employing formaldehyde free resins, the use of moderate amounts of relatively high-emitting recycled wood can be a challenge when producing very low-emitting particle boards. In contrast, no effect of pressing factor or resin load was observed. Other experiments determined that formaldehyde is relatively mobile within a particleboard mattress during hot-pressing. It was found that formaldehyde emission is relatively uniform across a panel immediately after hot-pressing. This is indicates that the use of a single sensor to estimate panel emission is valid.

Acronym WoodSens
Duration 01/10/2010 - 30/04/2014
Website visit project website
Network WoodWisdom-Net 2
Call Sustainable, competitive processing and end-use concepts for forest-based industries

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Technological Institute for Forest Cellulose, Construction-wood and Furniture France
Fagus-Grecon Greten GmbH & Co. KG Germany
Technology Institute on Furniture, Wood, Packaging Spain
École supérieure du bois France
Glunz AG Germany
Georg-August-University Göttingen Coordinator Germany
Laser-Laboratorium Göttingen e.V. Germany