Cost Analysis of Lightweight Wood Panels Strengthened with Lignin- Cellulose Nanofibrils

Brian K Via, Maria S. Peresin


Oriented strand board (OSB) manufacturers would like to reduce panel weight to save on costs and provide a
lighter panel for handling during construction. This study explored the possibility of making a lighter and cheaper
oriented strand board (OSB) through the addition of lignin-retained cellulose nanofibers (LCNF). The main
novelty of this study was that we created a standardized “cost ratio” table, which allows for a company to take
their confidential adhesive and LCNF costs and easily determine if there is a projected increase or decrease in
panel material costs (%) for lighter weight panels. To summarize the methodology, engineering and multivariate
statistical methods were first used to develop predictive models of panel performance in the presence of a lower
density and increased LCNF, for various adhesive amounts. Next, we used these models to calculate the amount
of materials needed to achieve the same strength or stiffness. We then calculated the recipe costs for each
scenario generated by the model. Our models revealed that a maximum density reduction of 0.05 g/cm3 might
be possible if the cost of LCNF (solid basis) is equivalent to pMDI (1:1 ratio); conversely, it was determined that
LCNF was not cost effective if it was 7 times more expensive than pMDI (7:1 ratio).


lignin, nanocellulose, low density, OSB, techno-economic

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