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Environmental impacts of wood-based products under consideration of cascade utilization: A systematic literature review

Thonemann, Nils, Schumann, Matthias
Journal of cleaner production 2018 v.172 pp. 4181-4188
acidification, environmental impact, eutrophication, global warming, land use, life cycle assessment, primary energy, recycled materials, research methods, wood
Environmental soundness of wood cascading, known as the efficient utilization of resources by using residues and recycled materials for material use, is still to be proved since it strongly depends on which impact categories are considered and which methodological choices are made. To summarize and systemize the literature concerned about the environmental soundness of wood cascading we answer the question: what is the current state of research in measuring environmental impacts of wood cascading? In order to answer this question, we executed a systematic literature review and found 15 relevant publications to identify the environmental impacts of wood cascading with their respective measurement methods. By classifying the publications into the categories research methodology, functional unit, system boundaries and environmental impact categories, we observed that life cycle assessment (LCA) is the most-used evaluation method and there is a broad variety of different functional units for measuring environmental impacts. The relevant literature focuses on single-stage combined with multi-stage cascading systems and global warming (GW), Primary energy consumption of fossil sources (PENR), Land use (LU), eutrophication (ET), and acidification (AC). As most of the studies focus merely on the aforementioned environmental impacts, a holistic assessment, especially with a focus on resource efficiency, which is at the core of cascading, is missing.