Reusing reject fiber from paper recycling as insulation materials (ReFibIn)

Reference number
Coordinator RISE SICOMP AB - RISE SICOMP AB, Piteå
Funding from Vinnova SEK 500 000
Project duration November 2018 - June 2019
Status Completed
Venture Circular and biobased economy
Call Circular and biobased economy

Purpose and goal

This stage 1 project aimed to verify the feasibility of using fibre reject, a bio-based and low-value side stream from paper and cardboard recycling, to produce new sustainable insulation materials. Value chain identification and business model development were also targeted. A consortium including Stora Enso and SCA reject fibre supplier, Podcomp end user from building industry, RISE SICOMP and Swerim research institutes providing sustainable material and production solutions, was established for proof of concept. Discussion for preparing a stage 2 project was initiated.

Expected results and effects

Fibre reject from different pulp & paper mills were successfully processed into foam structures, which could be used for insulation and/or core material applications. Similar surface properties but different length/diameter ratio and its distribution as well as critical concentrations of reject fibre for foaming were observed in two types of reject fibre from Stora Enso and SCA. Bio-resin based composite foams using the reject fibre foam were also processed. A value chain was identified and a business model was developed. Preparation of a stage 2 project was initiated.

Planned approach and implementation

In order to provide proof of an innovative concept that will use reject fibre from paper and cardboard recycling as new insulation and/or core materials, specific targets were achieved in four work packages. Swerim led the characterization of structure and morphology of reject fibres. SICOMP led the processing of reject fibre foam and its bio-resin composite foam as well as dissemination of results, value chain identification and business model development. Industrial partners, SCA, Stora Enso and Podcomp evaluate the results. Preparation of a stage 2 project was initiated.

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been looked at by our editors.