In terms of carbon emissions, wooden furniture is seen as environmentally friendly as, when they are growing, trees act as valuable carbon sinks and when the wood is then used for furniture a carbon store is created. However, the production of solid wood furniture does leave behind a lot of waste, as not all the parts of the tree can be used.
In a world where the words Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are becoming important, formaldehyde enables all three.
Formaldehyde based glues and resins reduce the number of trees needed for furniture production. Particleboard contain small chips of wood meaning that almost 100% of the tree can be used, and what little isn’t used can be burnt for energy generation.
Particleboard don’t have to be made from fresh wood. Old wooden furniture that would be thrown out can be broken down into small chips and used to create particleboards held together by formaldehyde based glues.
Formaldehyde based binders are strong enough that they can be used to bind wood chips that have been recycled more than just once. Meaning that not only solid wood furniture, but particle board furniture can also be broken down into chips and used again to create new furniture, giving the wood an almost endless life cycle.