Nelson Pine Industries Limited

LVL and the environment

As well as converting the wood resource from sustainable yield forests to an upgraded product, the process of LVL production is also environmentally friendly. LVL production creates few emissions and complies with NPIL’s air discharge consent. The 20 megawatt energy plant burns wood waste as fuel. The veneer drier emissions are contained and fed into the furnace, providing the air needed for combustion and removing any volatile organic compounds generated in the veneer drier.

Water use: The hot water baths where the logs are soaked have increased NPIL water use by only about 10%, with little increase in effluent load, as the logs soak up water. The log conditioning baths need to be cleaned out about twice a year, but the effluent can be processed through existing on-site treatment systems.

Lamination: The press used to laminate the veneers is operated at a significantly lower temperature than the MDF presses. Glue is spread over the veneer and heated by microwave in a 1.2m wide microwave oven, with LVL moving through it continuously. The lower press temperature significantly reduces emissions from this operation.

Resin & Recycling: The Dynea plant is conveniently sited next door to NPIL. A pipeline from Dynea carries phenolic resin glue to the LVL plant. This low emission resin is spread onto sheets of veneer from a ‘curtain coater’ – like a waterfall of resin. An even coat is essential, so this machine is shut down and cleaned from time to time. The washdown water is pumped back to Dynea and recycled as ‘make up water’ in resin making. The recipe for the LVL resin is extended with imported flour made from almond or walnut shells.