Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 17, 2020

A review on life cycle assessments of thermally modified wood

Kévin Candelier ORCID logo and Janka Dibdiakova ORCID logo
From the journal Holzforschung


This review compiles various literature studies on the environmental impacts associated with the processes of thermal modification of wood. In wood preservation field, the wood modification by heat is considered as an ecofriendly process due to the absence of any additional chemicals. However, it is challenging to find proper scientific and industrial data that support this aspect. There are still very few complete studies on the life cycle assessment (LCA) and even less studies on the environmental impacts related to wood heat treatment processes whether on a laboratory or on an industrial scales. This comprehensive review on environmental impact assessment emphasizes environmental categories such as dwindling of natural resources, cumulative energy intake, gaseous, solid and liquid emissions occurred by the thermal-treated wood industry. All literature-based data were collected for every single step of the process of wood thermal modification like resources, treatment process, transport and distribution, uses and end of life of treated wood products.

Corresponding author: Kévin Candelier, CIRAD, UPR BioWooEB, F-34398, Montpellier, France; BioWooEB, Université Montpellier, CIRAD, Montpellier, France, E-mail:

Funding source: Cost Action FP1407

  1. Author contribution: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: The authors gratefully thank the Cost Action FP1407 “ModWoodLife: Understanding wood modification through an integrated scientific and environmental impact approach” for all of their activities and their financial support allowing to integrate a great scientific and industrial network allowing to do such a review paper about the environmental impact of wood thermal modification.

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.


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Supplementary Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (

Received: 2020-04-16
Accepted: 2020-06-18
Published Online: 2020-08-17
Published in Print: 2021-03-26

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston