News story

Innovative fibreboard recycling firm attracts £250,000 investment

Innovate UK funding for a novel wood fibre recovery process from MDF fibreboard helps unlock a secondary material source for the industry.

MDF Recovery entrepreneur Craig Bartlett sitting at a desk with an example of waste MDF fibreboard.

Craig Bartlett, MDF Recovery.

A North Wales company has secured a £250,000 investment from a global waste management services group to commercialise its pioneering process for recycling medium-density fibreboard (MDF).

The backing from SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK will allow MDF Recovery to take its technology to market after 6 years of research and development.

Their collaboration follows an Innovate UK project where they worked together on a ‘closed loop’ recycling option for waste MDF. The 2 companies established a pilot plant to refine the process and host demonstrations for potential industrial end-users.

By allowing manufacturers to take the waste MDF back from customers and recover the wood fibre, the technology offers an innovative alternative to landfill or incineration for used MDF products and off-cuts.

Attractive option for the retail sector

MDF Recovery’s solution generates a new secondary material source for the wood/natural fibre industry. Co-founder Craig Bartlett estimates it could recycle between 30,000 to 60,000 tonnes of MDF waste in the UK each year, and almost 3 million tonnes globally.

Craig said:

The SUEZ investment provides a significant boost to MDF Recovery in our quest to commercialise the technology to make single-use MDF a thing of the past. The recovered fibre produced by the process is of the same high quality as fibre obtained from virgin wood and can be used as a direct substitute in the manufacturing process.

The technology can be retro-fitted or designed into new plants and offers a robust solution for reworking waste and increasing the yield at the MDF manufacturing facility.

The business is in discussions with potential customers and partners. The technology could be particularly attractive to the retail sector, which uses large amounts of MDF in shop fittings.

Published 16 March 2017