Project Full Title : Innovative plastic pollutants removal for efficient recycled wood panels production

Project Acronym : PLASTIC KILLER

Start date of the project: 01/07/2013

Duration of the project: 48 months

The increasing demand for recycled wood to produce particleboard and MDF panels has resulted in the need to improve the cleaning process of post-consumer wood (e.g. pallets\wood packaging material, demolition waste, used furniture), eliminating in a more effective and efficient way plastic impurities. Now MDF panels are mainly obtained from virgin wood and only a small number of producers use post-consumer recycled wood (up to 10%, based on PAL internal studies on the market), because

i) the process requires multiple steps of cleaning that are not enough to completely remove impurities

ii) MDF panels are of low quality and not compliant with EN 622-5 and EPF Standard for delivery conditions of recycled wood.

iii) there are not systems in the market capable of achieving a good removal of impurities (see the State of Art paragraph).

LIFE+ PLASTIC KILLER main objective is to set up and demonstrate the viability of an energy efficient pilot plant able to finely separate post-consumer recycled wood from plastics impurities, in order to use it primarily for MDF panels production and secondarily as “purified” biomass.

This project will contribute to

– pave the way for a new generation of more sustainable and affordable MDF panels produced by up to 60% of post-consumer recycled wood, compliant with EN 622-5 and EPF Standards;

– produce “purified” post-consumer wood that can be also introduced in the EU market as biomass for energy production, reducing the dioxin produced during the combustion;

– limit the use of virgin wood, supporting the non deforestation through the prolonged lifecycle of the recycled wood;

– foster the post-consumer wood recycle approach in the EU, open up new business and jobs opportunities; this also will contribute in the middle perspective to decongesting dumps.

– demonstrate the socio-economic and environmental sustainability, the potentialities of market replication and penetration of the proposed pilot plant.