EcoReFibre, which comprises 20 partners including Dieffenbacher, is backed by €12m in EU funding to develop a solution to the pressing problem of utilising waste fibreboard.

A meeting at Dieffenbacher on April 23 was followed by a further meeting at partner Tomra in Mülheim-Kärlich on April 24.

During the demonstration at Dieffenbacher, fibreboard material was shredded to chip size in the single-shaft shredder designed by Dieffenbacher. The chips were then fed into a Dieffenbacher ClassiSizer which reduces the fiberboard material to the desired particle size.After final screening on a Dieffenbacher oscillating screen, the fines produced can be used for the surface layer in particleboard production.

The demo then focused on fibreboard-to-fibreboard recycling. Using a DIeffenbacher ClassiScreen, the waste wood provided by EcoReFibre project partner Veolia was separated into fines, chip-size and oversized fractions. In the same step, films, textiles and other lightweight materials such as paper were removed from the waste wood.

“In a real-life application in a recycling plant, the oversized material would be reshredded and fed back into the process,” said Dieffenbacher Technologist Jonas Réssy. “The fines would be cleaned and used for particleboard production.” 

The chip-size material from the demonstration was made available to Tomra for the next day’s demonstration.

In Mülheim-Kärlich, the second day’s event focused on sorting the recycled wood by type. Using its X-TRACT X-ray sorting machine, Tomra showed how impurities such as stones, glass, plastics and metals are detected based on their atomic density and removed from the recycled wood. This was followed by the actual sorting process. 

“Our intelligent GAINnext deep-learning technology reliably identifies different types of wood, for example, solid wood or fiberboard, based on shape, size or other visual characteristics,” said Jose Matas, segment director wood at Tomra.

“The result is a pure fiberboard fraction ready for recycling.”

Dieffenbacher integrates Tomra machines into its Dieffenbacher plant concept so that trouble-free sorting is possible on an industrial scale.

Consortium leader Stergios Adamopoulos, professor in Wood Science and Technology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, said the demonstration days had taken the EcoReFibre project a “decisive step forward”.