New technology to recover wood fibre from recycled medium-density fibreboard (MDF) waste has received a £250,000 investment from recycling firm Suez.
MDF Recovery completed trials for commercial viability in January after six years of research and development, and described the technology as a “genuine world first” with no other environmentally friendly alternative currently available.
The recovered wood fibre produced by the company is the same quality as virgin. It can be used as a raw material source and provides feedstock to manufacturers of MDF board and insulation products.
The company says up to 50,000 tonnes of waste could be recycled each year, providing an alternative to the 350,000 tonnes disposed of in Britain. More than 45 million tonnes of MDF are produced globally every year in the furniture, construction and DIY markets, and MDF Recovery claims that 2.7 million tonnes of this could be recycled worldwide.
Managing director Craig Barlett (pictured) says: “The timing of the Suez investment is perfect because we are already in discussions with a number of potential customers and partners within industry who recognise the significance of what we are doing.”
MDF Recovery’s technology can be retrofitted or designed into new plants, with financial payback expected within 18 months.
Stuart Hayward-Higham, Suez technical development director, says: “The technology should literally give a new prolonged shelf-life for MDF, one of the most popular materials across the construction and furniture industry, from large-scale commercial projects to the army of shelf-fitters and DIY carpenters up and down the country.
”Zero waste production for the wood component of MDF is now a real possibility. We look forward to continuing our close working relationship with Craig as he moves into the commercialisation phase of this industry-first technology.”
The business was primarily funded by the UK and Welsh Governments, ’angel investors’ and industrial funding. It has set up an advisory panel which includes members of the MDF and timber industries.