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Materials recycling and reprocessing


Tailor-made solutions for materials recycling

VTT has expertise and solutions based on recycled and reprocessed materials. We have worked with the plastics, fibre, and metal industries, and can leverage our deep understanding of your industry and its sustainability aspects, taking you from concept to pilot-scale production.

Quality products with recycled materials

VTT offers the hands-on expertise and materials understanding to help you extract value from recycled materials and process side streams. We work collaboratively, developing the concept with you for your particular needs.

Materials and products beyond environmental compliance

Take advantage of VTT's reprocessing expertise and novel approaches to recycled material processing and product concept design. With a hands-on approach in application-based materials design, prefeasibility assessment and piloting facilities, VTT has the resources you require for programme success.

Industrial symbiosis 

Our technological core competence for industrial symbiosis is the integration of basic process industry technologies such as pyrolysis, hydro and pyro metallurgy, enzymatic hydrolysis, smart heat management, carbonisation, material characterization, mechanical pre-treatment, and separation technologies.

Apart from technological solutions, key concepts include an understanding of business models, environmental impacts (LCA), socio-economic metrics and organisational management. Industrial symbiosis concepts also draw on VTT expertise on smart cities and eco-cities as industrial symbiosis increasingly occurs in urban contexts.

The most significant research involves the multi-criteria recycling concepts for WEEE, textiles, inorganic process waste, phosphorous and plastics.

Case: re-defined landfill

Together with the Helsinki Region Environment Authority, we have during 2014 re-defined the largest landfill area in the Nordic Countries to become the first design driven industrial symbiosis in Finland. The work is ongoing and more than 10 industrial operators have expressed their interest to enter the area in the near future.

Case: design of a recycling system for system and milk cartons

Between 1998 and 2000 VTT and Foster Wheeler Energy designed a complete recycling system for used juice and milk cartons. The symbiosis serves several industrial sectors: the fibre fraction enters a new carton process, a plastic fraction with aluminium content is gasified into recycled fuel (50MW oil substitution), and finally metallic aluminium (2100 t/a) is readily usable in the commodity market.

Plastic materials recycling 

VTT is actively working on smart processing and reuse concepts for plastic materials. We help clients turn waste streams into income streams.

VTT plastics processing and reuse concepts range from materials analysis and experimentation to processing techniques, from laboratory to full-scale pilot.


 Recycled fibres

VTT modifies cellulose-based fibers and apply them via web forming and fibre yarn production processes to meet the most advanced requirements of our customers. Our simplified processes use less water and energy but deliver higher profit margins and product differentiation. Using renewable, biodegradable materials is an added benefit.


​​​Cellulose dissolution technique

VTT´s dissolution technology is an environmentally friendly solution for turning discarded textiles into a new fiber source for the textile industry. Used textiles, not recyclable by other means, can replace cotton and man-made fibers with no compromise in quality.

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​​​Environment-friendly disposables

VTT competences cover resource-efficient processes for nonwoven structures both at laboratory- and pilot-scale, e.g. foam forming. We're focused on renewable fibre creation and recycling.

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​​​Textiles for Advanced Apparel Requirements

VTT has competence in functional materials and solutions for work and protective clothing.


 Waste and sidestream valorisation

Attain higher profit margins and a higher degree of sustainability by harnessing waste and byproducts. Use VTT's novel concepts, cross industry expertise, and expert R&D services to quickly find and pursue the right avenue to added value through recovery. In a complex environment, both theoretical understanding and hands-on piloting provide the necessary information and understanding for implementation. The benefit is evident in reduced material costs, higher efficiency, and environmental compliance.


​​​Material characterisation and evaluation

Our work is based on long-term experience from the assessment of the environmental impacts of waste and by-products, in which deep understanding of the materials' leaching behaviour plays a central role.

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​​​Metals separation

Our competence covers the whole separation pathway from feedstock/waste to value-added product/neutralized waste. The research and development is active in flotation with e.g. metals separation of electric and mineral wastes.

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​​​Process monitoring solutions

We offer IPR and development capabilities for technology development, as well as monitoring campaigns for benchmarking or warranty purposes.


​​​Recovery from effluents

Our core competence consists in chemical precipitation and cementation. In addition, research is strong in sulphate reduction and metal precipitation with sulphate-reducing bacteria.


Fresh thinking

Our customers tell us that collaborating with VTT adds value in a number of ways. It brings fresh thinking to the table, offers proven technologies that can be tailored to their specific needs, and accelerates the development and implementation process.

How we work

Working with VTT is different. Instead of developing everything internally or working with companies pushing proprietary solutions, we function as an extended part of your team. With VTT, you are tapping into recycling and material reprocessing research and development that is both deep and broad.

​​​​Let’s talk

We invite you to meet with us so that we can gain a better understanding of the most important challenges you are facing and how we can help you to solve them.

Tel.+358 20 722 7070
Opening hours Mon - Fri 9:00 - 11:00 and 12:00 - 15:00, UTC +3 time zone


P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT, Finland
Tel. exchange +358 20 722 111
Opening hours Mon - Fri 8:00 - 16:30,
UTC +3 time zone

Tel. +358 20 722 7070
Opening hours Mon - Fri 9:00 - 11:00 and 12:00 - 15:00,
UTC +3 time zone