Board products such as MDF and particleboard that are used to make your kitchen cabinets are typically made from wood fibres, particles or flakes bound into a flat board with a binder such as a formaldehyde based adhesive. Quite often the timber sources are not sustainable and the health effects from exposure to formaldehyde are well known.
AMPAN is a new Australian panel board made from the waste stubble from rice production bound into a flat board with non-toxic inert resin. The advantages are obvious, rice stubble is normally treated as waste and in burnt in the field, so finding a use for this makes good environmental sense. Rice being such a high water use crop, AMPAN also increases the value and usage of each litre of water used to grow the rice.
Also, any board product that is getting rid of formaldehyde is a good thing.
The board is still in development with RMIT and the CSIRO, so we're not sure when it is likely to come to market but let's hope real soon.
AMPAN certainly sounds like a win-win-win for both farmers, consumers and the environment.