US wood industry worries about decline in paraffin wax supply

10 November 2011 20:47  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The possible decrease in future supplies of paraffin wax (p-wax) are a matter of concern for the US wood products industry, an executive with the American Fiberboard Association (AFA) said on Thursday.

"The makers of wood panelling and other products are concerned that supplies of traditional waxes are declining," said AFA director Louis Wagner.

P-wax is used by the wood industry in the production of fibreboard, hardboard, particleboard and other products used in the construction industry, Wagner said during the 2011 National Petroleum Refiners Association (NPRA) Lubes & Waxes conference in Houston.

P-wax is used by wood panel producers to improve water repellence and prevent water from being absorbed

In 2010, the wood industry consumed 224m lbs (101,606 tonnes) of p-wax to treat about 23bn cubic feet of wood products, Wagner said.

In 2005, when housing construction was more robust, the wood industry consumed 388m lbs of wax.

"With Group I base oils in decline, and domestic p-wax production falling, the wood industry is worried about future supply and whether synthetic waxes can replace traditional waxes," Wagner said.

"We wonder whether wood product producers will need to start making their own waxes through the Fischer-Tropsch plants located adjacent to wood processing facilities," Wagner said.

By: Frank Zaworski
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