Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 1248–1256 | Cite as

Pulverization of fibrous mineral wool waste

  • J. Yliniemi
  • O. Laitinen
  • P. Kinnunen
  • M. Illikainen


The total annual volume of mineral wool waste in the 27 European Union countries is expected to increase to 2.5 million tons per year by 2020. Unfortunately, mineral wool wastes are often considered unrecyclable, because their physical characteristics make them difficult to process. In many cases, the problem is caused by the material’s fibrousness. However, no studies have considered comminution methods for mineral wools. The objective of the present study is to investigate how various comminution mechanisms affect mineral wools’ physical characteristics, including appearance, bulk density, and fiber length and width. The study’s results show that compression-based methods (vibratory disc mill and hydraulic press) completely break down mineral wools’ fibrousness, whereas methods based on high cutting speeds affect bulk density and fiber length only moderately. In addition, the present study identifies a rapid method that can be used in a novel way to analyze a large number of mineral wool fibers.


Man made vitreous fiber (MMVF) Mineral wool fiber Comminution Milling Fiber conversion 



This work was conducted under the auspices of the Geodesign Project, supported by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) and various companies (Boliden Harjavalta Oy, Destamatic Oy, Fortum Power and Heat Oy, Paroc Group Oy, Saint-Gobain Rakennustuotteet Oy, and Suomen Erityisjäte Oy). Jarno Karvonen, Elisa Wirkkala, and Jani Österlund are acknowledged for their contributions to the laboratory analyses. Special thanks to Pontus Lindberg (Paroc Group Oy) for his valuable advice on the comminution experiments.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Yliniemi
    • 1
  • O. Laitinen
    • 1
  • P. Kinnunen
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Illikainen
    • 1
  1. 1.Fiber and Particle Engineering Research UnitUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringImperial College LondonLondonUK

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