Rice Straw MDF is Now a Reality

Willows, California based CalPlant is up and running. The company has announced that commercial production has begun for “the world’s first no-added-formaldehyde, rice straw-based medium density fiberboard”, which it has named Eureka™ MDF. Actual product will be in lumberyards in 2021. Strategically located in the heart of the rice farming community, CalPlant produces Eureka from renewable post-harvest rice straw that until recently had to be burned as waste. The new, sustainable, high performance MDF matches the performance of traditional wood MDF with excellent machinability, paint-ability and consistency. It can be used to make furniture, cabinetry, doors, moldings and more. The boards are made on a state-of-the-art ContiRoll® Generation 9 press from the German company Siempelkamp. At the microscopic level, curled rice straw fibers provide Eureka with dimensional stability and strength. And because the rice straw is annually renewable and abundant, CalPlant doesn’t anticipate any raw material shortages. Rice straw is collected each fall within an average 25-mile radius of the plant, which substantially reduces the cost and environmental impact of transporting raw material to the manufacturing site. And by removing the waste straw from the rice fields, water that would have been needed to flood the fields over winter will instead be conserved.