Wood & Panel

Eureka! World’s First Rice Straw-Based MDF is here

 Friday, December 4, 2020

CalPlant, a Northern California-based company focused on manufacturing sustainably-sourced building products, announces the official launch of the world’s first no-added-formaldehyde, rice straw-based medium density fiberboard, Eureka™ MDF.

Eureka is manufactured using post-harvest rice straw, an agricultural waste product, and is engineered to match the performance of traditional wood-based MDF in machinability, paintability and strength.

Annually renewable rice straw provides a consistent and abundant pipeline of raw material, and because CalPlant has been constructed in proximity to the straw, all fiber for Eureka MDF will be procured from Sacramento Valley rice growers within an average 25-mile radius of the plant. At full capacity, the operation will produce more than 150 million square feet annually (3/4” basis) and use 280,000 tons of rice straw.

“This is a defining moment for the CalPlant family and the industry as a whole. Decades of work have brought us to this day as we launch Eureka.” said Jerry Uhland, CalPlant founder and CEO. “When the Boyd family and I first set out to find a solution, we never could have imagined it would end in creating the world’s first-ever rice straw-based MDF, and in turn a more sustainable future for our planet.”

Employing a ContiRoll® Generation 9 Siempelkamp continuous press, which is 10-feet wide and 117 feet long, CalPlant will be staffed by 140 full-time employees with as many as 500 part-time jobs created during the annual straw-collection period. The mill will be able to produce MDF thicknesses of 2.0 mm to 32 mm (0.080” to 1.25″). The state-of-the-art press is currently the only one of its caliber in the United States.

The plant will startup production in November, with Eureka MDF commercially available in 2021.

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