Speciated Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from a Medium Density Fiberboard Process in North Carolina

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Title: Speciated Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from a Medium Density Fiberboard Process in North Carolina
Author: Bird, John
Abstract: Bird, John. Master of Environmental Assessment. Speciated Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from a Medium Density Fiberboard Process in North Carolina. Medium density fiberboard is a wood product manufactured from wood chips utilizing a thermomechanical pulping process. The thermomechanical pulping process imparts high pressure and energy to the wood in order to reduce the chips to a fibrous physical state. The fiber is then released in to a large heated dryer allowing steam and other volatile organic compounds to be released from the wood. A medium density fiberboard facility in Moncure, North Carolina was source tested to document all of the individual species of volatile organic compounds released from this process and these compounds’ mass emission rates. The only publicly available emission factors for this process type are from the US EPA’s AP-42 and the AP-42 is focused on criteria pollutants and the federal hazardous air pollutants list. Alpha- pinene, methanol, formaldehyde, acetic acid, formic acid, beta-pinene, p-xylene, and furfural were detected in the emissions. Understanding of speciated process emissions is important for any permitted facility in order to properly mitigate offsite impacts related to process emissions and the regulatory risks related to misreporting of process emissions. Acetic acid, for example, was emitted from the process in measurable quantities and this compound is a regulated North Carolina air toxic pollutant while not a US EPA hazardous air pollutant making it subject to State requirements but not necessarily Federal NESHAP requirements. Also, during the study total hydrocarbons were measured from a flame ionization detector and the device underestimated total VOC emissions when compared to the speciated VOC results. Speciated VOC sampling may provide a better accounting of all potential offsite and regulatory impacts from a facility based on this study’s findings.
Date: 2020-07-18
URI: https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.20/38239


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