A New Era for MDF

A New Era for MDF

It’s an exciting time for the Sacramento Valley rice industry and for purveyors and consumers of MDF. Beginning this fall, CalPlant I, LLC will commence operations at their Willows, CA rice-straw-based MDF production facility.

CalPlant rice straw MDF birds-eye view of factory

Rice straw, a byproduct of rice harvesting that’s difficult and costly to dispose, will provide the metaphorical and literal glue for this endeavor, as it’s going to replace the formaldehyde-based adhesives that are the current industry standard.

rice-straw close up

This is a double win for the environment. Not only will the novel technique substantially reduce VOCs (down to EPA-approved levels), it will also meet federal standards for formaldehyde emissions. Substantial economic and environmental savings will be realized as well via water conservation, as the traditional technique for disposing of rice straw is to flood fields post-harvest in order to speed up decomposition.

CalPlant Rice-Straw MDF image of production line with workers overseeing

CalPlant will produce more than 140 million square feet annually, enough to supply 30% of California’s MDF demand. The sheets will be available in dimensions from 2 to 30mm thick and up to 10’ x 18’.

MDF sheet production at CalPlant. Image of large MDF roller with several sheets in half-moon shape

See CalPlant to read more.

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