Published December 28, 2017

Saving the climate with biocomposites

Wimao designs and manufactures biocomposite products from recycled materials. Many materials that would otherwise end up as waste, such as plastics and wood fibre, are suitable as the main raw material of the composite. At best, each material unit produced saves its own weight in greenhouse gas emissions.

Problem

Recycling materials on an industrial scale requires sufficiently large volumes to be profitable. Separating different waste types for different purposes from the flow of waste usually requires a lot of work or is difficult, which results in the waste often ending up at landfills or incineration. Of construction waste, for example, only approximately 40 per cent is recycled, which is considerably less than the recycling goal set by the EU of 70 per cent by 2020.

Solution: composite products from recycled materials

Wimao manufactures biocomposite products from recycled materials. The main components of composite are recycled plastic and wood fibre, but all types of previously unused and recycled fibres, such as wood, paper and cardboard-based fibres, and different types of synthetic, mineral, textile, nano, micro, glass and carbon fibres, are also suitable. Wimao’s technology enables the manufacture of ecological composite products from recycled materials and industrial side streams. Many materials that would otherwise end up as waste, such as plastics and wood fibre, are suitable as the main raw materials of the composite.

Finished composite products can be used, for example, in the construction, packaging and logistics industries, in different types of infrastructure construction products and in various speciality products to replace plastic, metal, fibreglass or even stone or concrete.

Revenue logic and benefits to Wimao

The goal of the company is to sell its technology and products. The operations include project deliveries and licensing of the patented manufacturing technology. The technology delivered includes the equipment for raw material processing, product manufacturing and the finished product.

The first production facility is currently starting operations. Partnerships are also possible where the customer’s waste or side streams are used to manufacture new products for the customer. In such instances, the company does not need to use resources attempting to find raw materials. Recycled materials are cost-effective raw materials for Wimao.

Benefits to customers and end users

Wimao’s customers are primarily the manufacturing industry, large distribution companies and the retail industry. The pricing of composite products made of recycled materials are competitive with products made of previously unused natural resources, often even significantly cheaper. The solution helps customers recycle more and offer their customers products made from ecological recycled materials.

FACTS

Wimao in a nutshell

Main business: ecological composites

Established: 2015 

Net sales: less than €1 million

Launch of circular economy solution: 2017

Share of the circular economy solution of the total business: 100%

Employees: 1-10

Based: Lappeenranta

Website: www.wimao.fi

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