The aim of the project is to recycle wood fibres at the end of their life cycle and use them to produce new fibreboard. Currently, fresh wood is used almost exclusively to produce wood fibreboard.

The four-year project, which kicked off in May, has €12m in funding from the EU through its research and innovation funding programme Horizon Europe. 

The project partners, which include wood-based panel manufacturers Homanit and Sonae Arauco, intend to develop and test solutions that will enable up to 25% of the fresh wood fibres used to manufacture wood fibreboards to be replaced by recycled secondary fibres. Five pilot projects will also explore how recycled wood fibres can be used to manufacture new end products such as insulation materials and biocomposites.

“More than 100 million cubic meters of wood fibreboard are produced worldwide every year—almost exclusively from fresh wood,” said Dr Matthias Graf, who is leading the project at Dieffenbacher.

“The industry urgently needs a sustainable recycling solution here. With the innovative technologies and business models that we’ll develop as part of the EcoReFibre project, we’ll take the circular economy in the MDF/HDF industry a big step forward.”

Dieffenbacher’s recycling business unit has supplied numerous waste wood cleaning and wood recycling plants to particleboard manufacturers such as Unilin, Pfleiderer, Rheinspan and Fundermax. 

EcoReFibre was launched in May with a meeting at the consortium leader, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala. The project will end in April 2026.