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Any ideas on any products that can be developed from large waste streams of MDF and resinated dust?

We handle a large amount of MDF sawdust and other resinated wood dusts and have access to plenty more. Any idea on any types of products that can be created from these waste streams?

10 Replies

David Still
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David Still Advisor
Founder of Start-ups, Entrepreneur, Financier and Advisor

Dear Korey,

I know absolutely nothing about your business, which is normal for most of us. It is staggering how much we do not know even in the space where we are considered experts. Humbling!

I just Googled:

1. "Uses for large waste streams of MDF and resinated dust" and got 784,000 results;

2. "Who produces products for large waste streams of MDF and resinated dust?" and got 688 results;

3. "Competitors for products from large waste streams of MDF and resinated dust?" and got 327 results; and

4, "Consultants for products from large waste streams of MDF and resinated dust?" and got 547 results.

Somewhere in the mess is a nugget(s). Those results and Internet alerts that you set for future results are a treasure hunt designed to make you think about the answers that best suit your sensibilities. Also, I suspect that if you review 10-Ks, annual reports or other public information on large companies who are in your space - they are remarkably open about what they do. This input is great. Try to stay under the radar of the big Bears and find undeserved market niches where your win rate is high and pricing firmer.

I am a disciple of:

"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." - Aristotle

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge." - Stephen Hawking

The answer is in your educated, experienced imagination and willingness to put very hard work into your treasure hunt - you, yourself. We all have to do that. I am impressed with your initiative.A great on-point strategic book that opens minds on these issues may be: Andrew Grove (co-founder of Intel), Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Identify and Exploit the Crisis Points that Challenge Every Business, Doubleday-Random House, 1996, New York, NY

I apologize for being so basic; I have just been seeking the best answers for similar questions for too many decades.

Good luck! David

Peter Johnston
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Peter Johnston Advisor
Businesses are composed of pixels, bytes & atoms. All 3 change constantly. I make that change +ve.
Why not turn it into a substrate for 3D printing? With the right handling it could turn into a host of "wooden" products.
Andrew Nelson
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Andrew Nelson Entrepreneur
Director of Financial Due Diligence at The Bowman Law Firm LLC
We should talk. I have an idea that will play well to your vertical, fill a possible 17 billion dollar problem in your industry using the MDF board. If you like it and want to move forward with it, we can come to some sort of arrangement.
Andrew Lockley
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Andrew Lockley Advisor
Investor and strategy consultant
Insulation panels, combustible wood pellets, fermentation for biofuels, dissolve out and recycled the glue, animal bedding, oil spill remediation, cleaning up sick and wee in nightclubs, kindling, containing frag or bullet fragments on ranges, bales for protection from falls bumps and knocks, piling up building sites to protect surfaces from objects falling from height, making artificial snow, rebind to create a decorative surface finish
Lauren Calahan
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Lauren Calahan Advisor
Founder and Executive Director at LEAP Education Programs
I hope that you are incredibly environmentally conscious as your need can have a tremendous impact, positive and negative, on not only the environment, but peoples foods, pets, etc.. Here is a link i found - but i assume you have already read the basics. http://www.greenxchange.cc/recycling-mdf/ Looks like you are not alone in this questions or quest for a solution and i wish you luck in joining a cause that has huge ramifications. Lauren Lauren Calahan LEAP Education Programs [removed to protect privacy] [removed to protect privacy] www.leap-edu.org
Korey Snead
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Korey Snead Entrepreneur
Vice-President at K. R. Snead Trucking, Inc.
Thanks everyone for the responses. Please anyone with serious ideas private message me. We don't have to worry about the big boys in this sector, my families company is the go-to for several international companies' plants in the mid-Atlantic for recycling for this material. Of course we only service 5 states, but the problem with the waste is national if not international: So any product that could be developed from it could be scaleable if demand was there to utilize more.

I know very little about 3D printing: What characteristics does a feed stock for 3-D printing need to have? Is it simply a composite plastic extruded in a noodle?
Ann V. Edminster
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Ann V. Edminster Entrepreneur
Instructor, Sustainable Building Advisor Program
Hi, Korey -- Here are a few random thoughts: - compost/mulch - use to soak up spills - cat litter pellets - low-grade panel materials, e.g., for use in backing for picture frames Cheers, Ann [removed to protect privacy] [image: www.annedminster.com] author of Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet , SBA Program instructor *sign up for the new SBA program -
David Still
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0
David Still Advisor
Founder of Start-ups, Entrepreneur, Financier and Advisor
Kory,

Having faced this matter several times, I would point out the natural inclination is to read a recommendation that makes imminent tactical sense and run with it. I recommend being patient and reviewing all of your options before making a decision. I have a long list of making personal mistakes on these activities.
Jonathan Lu
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Jonathan Lu Advisor
Product Innovation Entrepreneur
Very interesting question!
It's unlikely that your MDF waste stream would be suitable for 3D-printing - even if you could separate out sawdust from the urea-formaldehyde component to a high enough purity level without damage, you're unlikely to find a system that could use it as a feedstock. The majority ofconventional 3D printing technologies are meant for thermoplastic polyolefinssince they are re-shapeable in nature (urea-formaldehyde as a thermoset is not). My suggestion: sawdust (as a form of cellulose) has a high energy capture, so you could direct this effluent stream to incineration as a means to generate power for a different operation. You'll need a pretty reliable system of screen/filters/scrubbers to capture the other portion, which could then be sold for use as an adhesive tackifier.

3D printing is possible (but not probable given ppm-level purity requirements) for your resinated wood dusts, though this is far from the only use. Assuming that the resin is PP, PETE, PS, or many others, there are plenty of companies you could sell the scrap plastic portion to that would convert it into new resin. Similar to your MDF stream, you could also direct this waste stream for energy capture (of the cellulosic portion) and to separate out the plastic component for recycle.

I strongly applaud your efforts to recycle waste streams... but do keep in mind the need to conduct a full engineering analysis regardless of what you do. It's possible that the process by which to separate components of your effluent streams may require putting in more energy than you get back out (same goes for cost).
Ruby Sahiwal
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Ruby Sahiwal Entrepreneur
Chairman, Escalon Services, Inc.
MDF waste could be used as feedstock for wood pellets depending upon impurity levels etc. In addition, it can be used as fuel for MDF operations as well. Message me directly if you would like to discuss.
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