Kuusakoski Builds Composites Shredding Plant in Finland

Kuusakoski will shred and treat composite fibers and polymers for use in cement at a new processing plant.
Kuusakoski will shred and treat composite fibers and polymers for use in cement at a new processing plant. Courtesy of Kuusakoski Recycling

Materials recycling company Kuusakoski Oy will invest more than 4 million ($4.4 million) to build a shredding and treatment plant for composites at its Hyvinkää site in southern Finland. The plant will reportedly be the first such facility in Finland.

The company, based in Espoo, Finland, says the plant will safely and effectively shred compositesplastics and fibers—for use as raw materials in the cement industry. Kuusakoski already supplies shredded composites for co-processing in cement production, where they can be used without residual ash.

In co-processing, composite fibers are used instead of limestone and polymers are substituted for fossil fuel. The use of composites lowers CO2 emissions significantly, according to President and CEO Mikko Kuusilehto.

The investment includes the renovation of a building at the Kuusakoski Hyvinkää site, as well as construction of the new processing line. Some 35 percent of the investment will be financed by Business Finland through the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility program.

The processing line is planned to be in full production by the end of 2025. The plant will consist of two shredders, several covered conveyors, a magnet and a dust control system. Dust control is especially important because the processing of composites creates large amounts of fine, harmful dust.

“The demand for a recycling solution for composites is rising, as the amount of composites waste grows: wind turbines, airplanes, boats and other vehicles contain considerable and increasing amounts of composites, says Kuusilehto.

He notes a common misconception about the materials that the new plant will produce: “It is good to understand that the shredded composites are not mixed with concrete. They are used in the production of clinkera pre-product used to prepare cementand no trace of fibers is left in the cement that is then used for preparing concrete. 

By Plastics Engineering | June 25, 2023

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