Introduction to the concept of particleboard production from mixtures of sawdust and dried food waste
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The promotion of sustainable waste management strategies has been highlighted with the introduction of the Waste Framework Directive, which favors the waste management practices that extend the life-cycle of waste. A significant fraction of municipal solid waste consists from food waste, the treatment of which is done primarily by means of conventional methods like composting and anaerobic digestion. The scope of this manuscript is the production of particleboards from dried food waste, thus reusing the waste and extending significantly their life-cycle. Dried food waste that were gathered from households were mixed with wood on a 1:10 ratio and with an epoxy resin. The mixture was compressed in a hydraulic hot press for the manufacturing of particleboards. The high starch content in the food waste was also an important feature that would assist the adhesion of the particleboards in a concept similar to pelletization. The products had regular structure and compactness, with the density ranging from 645 – 682 kg/ m3. The thickness swelling ranged from 18.9 – 19.8 % for 24-hour experiments, while the water absorption ranged from 65-72 % for the same time period. Leaching tests, both with deionized water and acetic acid, showed that the leachates had very low concentrations of heavy metals.