10 August 2007

MDF and particle board recycling technology in pipeline

The amount of MDF and chipboard being sent to landfill could soon be reduced, according to a new technology firm.

With landfill legislations and complex problems with disposal we see a right time and right place opportunity.

Chris Every, Nviro Cleantech

London-based Nviro Cleantech has announced that it is developing technology for commercial production next year which it claims will be able to recycle MDF – a hardwood often used in place of chipboard and plywood – and particleboard into high quality wood fibre, which could then be used in applications including the board mills.

The announcement follows the flotation by Nviro Cleantech on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of London's stock exchange, through which it hopes to raise funds to promote this and other “clean” technologies.

Nviro Cleantech chief executive Chris Every told letsrecycle.com: “This technology was developed by the Furniture Industry Research Association in conjunction with the University of Wales and is based on microwave and moisture which bursts the bonds in the fibre board but does not damage the fibre. It is under development at the moment with a view to commercial development next year.”


Nviro Cleantech's MDF recycling technology, which is awaiting patent and called Microrelease, was developed in response to the difficulty of recycling MDF – which is generally sent to landfill due to the glues and resins which bind the material together.

However, Mr Every explained that up until now, other technologies which use steam and pressure to recycle the wood, ended up damaging the wood fibre, thereby making it hard to market. With Microrelease, however, Mr Every claimed that the fibre was slightly stiffer than virgin fibre but otherwise unaltered.

Nviro Cleantech's chief executive added that the company had received a lot of interest in the technology- which he claimed could reduce wastage levels for furniture producers.

He also said: “With landfill legislations and complex problems with disposal we see a right time and right place opportunity. We are working with major board companies in the Northern and Southern hemisphere and have very strong interest from industry itself.”


In Nviro Cleantech's portfolio, the first and main technology which is entering commercial production is called Vertus RTP. Designed to clean coal to produce more energy and remove harmful elements such as mercury, the technology can also clean biomass fuels such as waste wood.

He said: “The process works equally well with anything with a carbon content. In essence, we pre-cook waste at temperatures from 200 to 600 degrees Centigrade and extract volatiles. We have already signed a joint venture for this in China and are in advanced discussions in the USA.”

NViro Cleantech was established in 2005 and focuses on commercialising “clean ” technologies such as renewable energy, waste recycling, emissions control and air quality monitoring equipment. Technologies are sourced from small private developers and universities in the UK and Europe. At present, the company counts the MP for Kettering, Philip Hollobone, amongst its non-executive directors.

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