AUCKLAND, New Zealand - A New Zealand-based company is seeking a global patent for a recycling process that can profitably turn waste paint, powder coatings and wood into high-performance particle board for building.
After more than five years of research in conjunction with the University of Auckland, Orica Powder Coatings, Auckland, New Zealand, is applying to patent the process.
Orica Powder Coatings General Manager Graeme Squire said that, based on current research, one plant could annually recycle a combined 17,000 tons of waste paint, powder coatings and wood fiber.
“Our concept is to set up low-cost, boutique manufacturing plants, which are easy to operate and are close to the source of the waste materials,” Squire said.
The company has had the process tested by an international equipment supplier who is already successfully operating a number of small, turnkey particle-board plants.
Orica Powder Coatings is now seeking interest from overseas parties wanting to recycle the same waste materials in their own markets.
“Internationally the disposal of waste paint and powder coating is a huge issue. In the United States alone, an estimated 20 million liters of waste paint is generated each year with most eventually going into landfills,” Squire said.
Orica Powder Coatings originally experimented with just waste powder coating and wood fiber, but then discovered the addition of waste paint created the ideal mix for the board.
The result is a high-performance product with the waste powder coating and paint acting as binding agents and adding water resistance. While waste wood would generally be used, this can be substituted with other sources of fiber such as rice husks, straw and coconut fibers.