Ecological solutions for recovery of secondary raw materials from post-consumer fibreboards
The goal of EcoReFibre is to develop and demonstrate innovative demos for environmentally sound and commercially viable recycling of end-of-life fibreboards, which currently have no commercially viable recycling methods. The quantities of fibreboard waste are growing exponentially in line with the growth in production capacity, and it is highly likely that more than 60 million tons of fibreboard waste have been created in Europe the last 5 years. This has caught the European recycling sector off-guard. EcoReFibre is crucial to Europe's wood-based panel and wood recycling sectors because of various inter-linked market challenges of the current situation for creating secondary materials from wood waste. EcoReFibre builds a strong pan-European consortium bringing together leading research institutes, companies and European associations who will develop and demonstrate a range of recycling technologies for waste fibreboard. Validation and demonstration of the technologies will take place in an operational environment as system prototypes (TRL7) or in the relevant industrial environment (TRL6). These include a sorting line that is able to efficiently sort postconsumer wood waste, extraction technologies for secondary materials (calibrated wood fines and wood fibres) from the sorted waste fractions, and conversion to valuable products, i.e. various fibreboard and insulation products, particleboard and novel biocomposites. As a major impact, the secondary fibres will substitute up to 25% of the virgin fibres currently used in the manufacture of new fibreboard. The economic viability of the technologies is achieved through a synergistic circular economy approach that exploits multiple valorisation pathways of secondary raw materials. The novel fibreboard recycling technologies are transferrable and exploitable for many other biobased industries. Environmental and social impacts and benefits are integrated into a life cycle perspective.