Why is MDF Hard to Recycle?

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Why is MDF Hard to Recycle?

MDF stands for medium density fiber board. About forty-eight percent of wood in UK is recycled into the paper form. Recycling the timber will definitely reduce the disposal costs and also prevent the increase in landfills. Dumping of organic substance is prohibited by the legislation and hence recycling of timber has become necessary. The dumping of waste will release methane and carbon-di-oxide which are well known for enhancing green house effect. The water from the waste will sink into the layers of the earth and spoil the ground waters. These are some of the reasons for performing the recycling process instead of dumping the waste timber.

The waste wood was observed to be coming mostly from furniture in the houses and very little from the packages made of wood. The furniture also includes MDF material. It is considered as a toxic material and not recommended to be used without precautions. MDF consists of urea or phenol formaldehyde resins which bind the wood fibers of this material. Hence, MDF releases more formaldehyde into the surrounding which is more harmful to the human beings. The California state at US has put forward a rule which is going to come into proper implementation from 2012. This rule has set a limit and a standard for emissions that are coming out of the various woods. Probably the raw material of wood containing formaldehyde might be totally prevented from usage.

The usage or disposal of MDF would be dangerous. It is noticed that it is difficult to recycle MDF. It is found that in a year, about one million tonnes of MDF is wasted. The first industrial project that was able to recycle the MDF was Fibre-solve project done by Trada technology. This project involves reprocessing of coated MDF. The waste MDF is processed by injecting carbon-di-oxide and was added to cement composites in order to develop the strength of wood fibers. The exact reason why it is hard to recycle MDF is unknown.

Author: Hari M

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