Foto: Jānis Gabrāns


A new production line of the waste paper recycling company SIA Balticfloc has been opened in Cesis, which is intended for production of innovative thermal insulation material “BFlex”.


This material is made of low class waste paper and hemp fibre, and, as stated by the Chairman of the Board of the company Edžus Cābulis, it is an innovative product and the product formulation is unique on a European scale. It has to be said that the product will enter the market only in the summer.


Opening the production lines in a solemn event, he told that the company recycles waste paper already for more than seven years, using it for production of different products. The best known product is an ecological thermal insulation material ecowool, the range of products also including cellulose mulch and granules for hydroseeding, as well as an ecological absorbent used for absorbing leakage of various chemical substances. In addition, Balticfloc is the only company in Latvia producing a cellulose additive for asphalt.


Production of these products revealed a problem and looking for a solution led the company to the new material, states E. Cābulis: “We purchase waste paper in large quantities, and there always remains a fraction, which is not suitable for production of the existing products. These are tetra packs, cups, wet, dirty paper, other leftovers, and we didn’t know what to do with them. If this waste paper that cannot be recycled could be combined with some fibre of natural origin, a new material would be created.


We also had come to a conclusion that the loose material is good for thermal insulation but private persons are unable to integrate it themselves, as specific equipment and knowledge is required. We figured out that we could produce thermal insulation sheets that are demanded on the market. As a result, combining both ideas, a new thermal insulation material was created.”


But an idea alone is not enough, because its implementation requires funding. Realising how much equipment for production of thermal insulation sheets costs, it became clear that for the time being implementation of this idea has to be postponed to more distant future. But good ideas that have once born can materialise, and our path brought us together with the European Union LIFE programme, and the investment attracted within the framework of this programme and with financial support of the Latvian Environmental Protection Fund of the State Regional Development Agency constituted almost three million euros.


The installed production line was developed specifically for the needs of Balticfloc. The manager of the company reveals that initially there were problems, a tender for construction of equipment was announced even three times, but nobody was ready to make and assemble the entire production line. The company had to ask for advice the LIFE team, which advised to reach an agreement with any company that has applied for making separate units. The only company to reply to the offer was SIA Elektro Vilks from Priekuli rural territory.


It is planned that the production line will produce up to 250 m3 of the product a day, using 750 tonnes of low class waste paper.


The project technology transfer manager Ēriks Nordens, telling about raw materials, informed that the composition of the new product includes low class waste paper and high-value hemp fibre which is obtained by Balticfloc during the production process from hemp straw rolls: “Waste paper can be divided into more than ten quality classes, and we will use a material which has not many chances to become a new product as a result of the recycling process. The other material is hemp which also is an understandable choice, as it is used in construction, insulation and as a very efficient CO2 absorbent already for a long time.


Also other natural fibres, including textile fibre, could be tried in the production of thermal insulation material. We have already conducted experiments with it and have developed a formulation for its recycling. It has gained recognition among circular economy and waste recycling specialists, because recycling of textile materials is a very topical problem.”


As a result, two products have been created. One – a combination of hemp fibre and waste paper in the form of sheet, and the other – a combination of textile and waste paper. Both these products technologically can be produced in sheets with thickness of 50 – 100 millimetres and both materials have very good thermal capacity indicators.


Ē. Nordens also emphasised that this is almost completely zero waste process: “If paper is recycled, it is less environment-friendly than our chosen solution. Paper recycling always required using large quantities of water, whereas in our technology water is not used, which is also a significant environmental benefit. By recycling this waste paper, we further reduce the amount of waste ending up at landfills. In our company, low class waste paper turns into a high-value product which serves at least 20 – 30 years.”


Those present wanted to know what could be the price of this product, but the manufacturers could not tell yet, as currently only experimental production is implemented. In order to get to the market and price, first the product certification has to be carried out.


E. Cābulis also indicates that the project involves an agreement that the finished product cannot be sold during the project implementation. The project will end in this summer and then the new material will be available on sales and also the price will be known.



Article is published in issue “Druva” 04/12/2022