Recycling with Quality
Gypsum fiberboard residues generated on construction sites can be reintegrated into the production process. For this purpose, a recycling plant was built in just nine months – during ongoing production – at the Fermacell factory in the Dutch town of Wijchen. This plant reprocesses residual gypsum waste from construction sites or demolished buildings so that it can be reintegrated into the production cycle.
Gypsum is nearly one hundred percent recyclable without any loss in quality. The approximately 15,000 tons of gypsum recycled at Wijchen already equates to 15 percent of our processed raw materials. The plan is to increase this to at least 20 percent. All parties involved profit from gypsum recycling: Construction companies have less waste to dispose of while Fermacell pays 30 percent less for the raw material and also saves transportation costs for fresh gypsum.
Despite an investment of over one million euro, the recycling plant will probably take just 18 months to amortize. Fermacell primarily uses FDG gypsum obtained from flue gas desulfurization plants at power stations, which is of above average purity. FDG gypsum can be mixed with recycled gypsum and paper fibers from recycled paper, before being processed into Fermacell gypsum fiberboard panels. It is likely that we will now only need to purchase a small volume of additional gypsum this year, thanks to the new plant in Wijchen.