New research has found that microwave technology offers a promising solution to recycling MDF.

A report by FIRA, funded by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), found that Microrelease technology can make waste MDF useable for producing new MDF, wood plastic composites, insulation fibres and oil spill absorbers.

“The fibres can be incorporated into the existing production [of MDF] with negligible effect on the manufacturing parameters and no significant drop in product performance,” it said.

The report investigates each possible end use for recycled MDF – MDF, composites, insulation – in terms of ease of manufacture, product performance and economic viability, with comparisons between standard production containing recycled MDF fibres.

Current MDF waste disposal practices have environmental and economic burdens. But the report says microwave use can swell and liberate MDF fibres without causing any damage to them, allowing simple removal of contamination.

UK MDF production creates 131,000 tonnes of waste annually, while furniture manufacturing creates an additional 150,000 tonnes. Consumers add another 70,000 tonnes.

The report can be accessed at