by Karl D. Forth
email@example.com PANEL PRODUCTS
New rice straw-based MDF plant set to start
production in California
Location will annually produce more than 140 million sq. ft. of rice straw-based MDF.
Anew rice straw-based MDF plant is now under construc- tion north of Sacramento and is scheduled to begin
production this fall.
Construction of CalPlant I, the $315
million manufacturing plant, is more
than 80 percent complete. An inventory
of more than 200,000 tons of rice straw
is currently in storage at the CalPlant site
in Willows, California, for the first run
of panels, which should come off the line
this November, according to CalPlant
CEO Jerry Uhland.
CalPlant will be the world’s first
commercial-scale producer of no-added-formaldehyde, rice straw-based MDF,
and at design capacity, the plant will
produce more than 140 million square
feet (¾-inch basis) annually.
“This facility is the first of its kind in
the world in so many ways,” Uhland said.
“Not only will it have a production capac-
ity to supply 30 percent of California’s
MDF demand, it will significantly reduce
CalPlant will produce a traditional
wood-based-like MDF panel from rice
straw that will be used in all the same
wood-based MDF end-use applications,
Rice straw is an annually renewable
raw material, with all of the material for
the plant coming each year from Sacra-
mento Valley rice growers within a 15- to
25-mile radius of the plant site.
“Rice straw, coming from an aquatic
plant, comprises cellulose, hemicellulose, ash, and high-quality waxes,”
Uhland said. “This composition results
in an MDF panel with superior moisture-resistance and dimensional stability. The
higher-than-wood ash content also pro-
CalPlant will be the world’s first commercial-scale producer of no-added-formaldehyde, rice
Cooling wheel in new CalPlant operation.
Plant will produce less VOC emissions due to
its feedstock and is expected to be a minor
source of emissions under EPA rules.