A Welsh company that is developing a technology to recycle medium-density fibreboard (MDF) waste has received a further £165,000 in funding.
The funding to MDF Recovery comes from a “group of angels” and follows a £250,000 investment made by Suez last year (see letsrecycle.com story).
An angel investor is somebody who invests in start-up companies usually in exchange for ownership equity.
MDF Recovery, based in Anglesey, northwest Wales, says it is nearing commercialisation having successfully concluded proof of concept trials to develop a commercially viable process to recover wood fibre from used or off-cuts of MDF.
The process, according to the company, offers the first ever alternative to landfilling or incineration of MDF and offers a closed loop recycling opportunity for the wood panel sector.
The exact process is kept confidential, but it works by using a water-based process to create an electrical heating stream which separates fibres within the MDF from the glues.
MDF as a material was first introduced in the 1970s and today more than 50 million tonnes are produced globally every year, servicing the furniture, construction and DIY markets, the company said. In the UK there are approximately 1 million tonnes produced.
It is often used for items such as drawer fronts, kitchen doors, skirting boards and furniture.
MDF Recovery says that its solution generates a new secondary material source for the wood/natural fibre industry that displaces the need for new virgin materials.
The managing director of MDF Recovery is Craig Bartlett who previously headed up research at FIRA, the Furniture Industry Research Association and has also been involved with work for resource charity WRAP.
He explained that the technology has attracted the interest of a wide range of people.
“Our innovative technology has attracted the interest of various parties including the manufacturers of MDF materials and MDF equipment as well as other engineering companies.
“As we gear up for the accelerated growth of the business, it is important we have the best team in place to ensure we achieve our commercial objectives.”