The theory of recycling MDF into valuable raw materials was developed by Act&Sorb. Now start-up Act&Sorb was faced with the challenge of translating this theory into practice. The chosen process: carbonisation. A process in which a material is decomposed by increasing the temperature, without oxygen being added.

The first step in that plan: the purchase of a standard tube furnace. Such an oven heats the material while it is transported through the tube by a rotating screw.

That standard tubular oven did what it had to do. In the sense that it was clear to Act&Sorb that they could continue along this path.

But that standard machine only fulfilled 80% of the expectations. For example, the drive of the tube slipped. The MDF clogged up on the infeed side. Or too much of that MDF was lost because some areas were too low in temperature. It was also important to incorporate Act&Sorb’s innovation.

Their question to us: how do we adapt this tubular furnace so that it meets our requirements for the full 100%? What could be designed better to get our process fully up to speed?


The solution lays in our knowledge of mechanics and drive technologies, combined with their process knowledge.

Custom made tubular furnace

Our mechanical developer took a close look at their pipe furnace and processes. Based on this, he compiled a list of optimizations. Which we also implemented after agreement.

We extended the sleeve of the feeding screw. And optimized the input of the MDF.

We placed modified heat shields on the new input section. In this way, we obtained a much more constant and stable temperature.

We replaced the bearings and seals with alternatives that were more resistant to the heat.

We replaced the roller drive system with a chain drive. So slipping through was a thing of the past.

We adjusted the output to reduce material loss.

We built in Act&Sorb’s specific IP in the tubular furnace.


A tubular furnace that no longer satisfies for 80% , but covers 100% of Act&Sorb’s expectations.

Without developing a complete custom designed furnace. Now Act&Sorb is ready for the next step in their business case: upscaling to a higher level.

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