German company Dieffenbacher GmbH and 19 organizations from seven countries have joined forces in the EcoReFibre (Ecological solutions for recovery of secondary materials from post-consumer fibreboards) research project to make the production of wood fiberboard such as MDF and HDF (medium-density and high-density fiberboard) more sustainable.
The aim of the project is to recycle wood fibers at the end of their life cycle and use them to produce new fiberboard. Currently, fresh wood is used almost exclusively to produce wood fiberboard.
The four-year project, which kicked off in May, has 12 million euros in funding from the European Union through its research and innovation funding program 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 per cent of the fresh wood fibers used to manufacture wood fiberboards to be replaced by recycled secondary fibers. Five pilot projects will also explore how recycled wood fibers can be used to manufacture new end products such as insulation materials and biocomposites.
“More than 100 million cubic meters of wood fiberboard are produced worldwide every year – almost exclusively from fresh wood. The industry urgently needs a sustainable recycling solution here,” explains Dr. Matthias Graf, who is leading the project at Dieffenbacher. “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,” he says.
Dieffenbacher has a longstanding commitment to sustainability and preserving fresh wood resources in Europe. The company is a leader in producing equipment that uses waste wood as a raw material in the production of particleboard. The company’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.
Source: Dieffenbacher Maschinenfabrik GmbH