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Title:
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR TREATING A STARTING MATERIAL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/207869
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a method and an apparatus for treating a starting material, wherein the starting material (1) that contains at least organic material is mixed and agglomerated in a mixing stage (4) in the presence of heat to form agglomerated mixture material (5), the mixture material is mechanically pressed in a pressing stage (8) where the temperature of the mixture material rises due to the pressing, and a predetermined product (9) is formed in the pressing stage. Further, the invention relates to the use of the method.

Inventors:
VARIS, Juha (Ainonkatu 33 A 22, Lappeenranta, 53100, FI)
KÄRKI, Timo (Päivärinnantie 58, Imatra, 55800, FI)
Application Number:
FI2017/050398
Publication Date:
December 07, 2017
Filing Date:
May 29, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
KOMPOTEK OY (Päivärinnantie 58, Imatra, 55800, FI)
International Classes:
B09B3/00; B29B17/00; B29C70/34; B31D1/00; B31D5/00; C08J11/06
Domestic Patent References:
1990-07-26
2013-08-15
Foreign References:
GB2309699A1997-08-06
EP1803694A12007-07-04
JPH0671647A1994-03-15
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAPULA OY (P.O. Box 981, Helsinki, 00101, FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A method for treating a starting material, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that

- a starting material (1) that contains at least organic material is mixed and agglomerated in a mixing stage (4) in the presence of heat to form agglomerated mixture material (5) ,

the mixture material (5) is mechanically pressed in a pressing stage (8), where the tem¬ perature of the mixture material rises due to the pressing, and

a predetermined product (9) is formed in the pressing stage.

2. The method according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the starting material (1) com¬ prises waste material, recycled material, reused materi¬ al, and/or virgin material.

3. The method according to claim 2, c h a r - a c t e r i z e d in that the waste material comprises municipal waste, a fraction separated from municipal waste, construction waste, demolition waste, industrial sidestreams, textile waste, ash waste, plastic waste, paperboard waste, insulation material waste, fiberglass waste, or their combinations.

4. The method according to any one of claims 1 - 3, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the starting mate¬ rial (1) is crushed and/or ground (2) before the mixing stage ( 4 ) .

5. The method according to any one of claims 1

- 4, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the mixture mate¬ rial (5) is fed from the mixing stage (4) to an extru¬ sion stage (6) before the pressing stage (8) .

6. The method according to any one of claims 1 - 5, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the mixture mate- rial (5) is fed to the pressing stage in a granular form.

7. The method according to any one of claims 1

- 6, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that also other material is fed to the pressing stage (8) in addition to the mixture material (8) to form a combination product.

8. The method according to any one of claims 1

- 7, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the mixture mate¬ rial (5) is heated in a heating stage before the pressing stage (8) .

9. An apparatus for treating a starting material, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the apparatus com¬ prises

at least one mixing stage (4) comprising at least one mixing device selected such that a starting material (1) is mixed and agglomerated in the mixing device to form agglomerated mix¬ ture material (5) from the starting material (1) that contains at least organic material, - at least one pressing stage (8) for mechanical¬ ly pressing the mixture material, where the tem¬ perature of the mixture material rises due to the pressing and where a predetermined product (9) is formed.

10. The apparatus according to claim 9, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the apparatus comprises at least one crushing and/or grinding stage (2) .

11. The apparatus according to claim 9 or 10, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the apparatus comprises at least one extrusion stage (6) before the pressing stage ( 8 ) .

12. The apparatus according to any one of claims 9 - 11, ch a r a c t e r i z e d in that the pressing stage (8) comprises at least one press device for mechanically pressing the mixture material.

13. The apparatus according to claim 12, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the press device com¬ prises a shape-giving part and a piston for pressing the material against the shape-giving part, and a part gen¬ erating power and movement for moving the piston.

14. The apparatus according to any one of claims 9 - 13, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the ap¬ paratus comprises a pressure adjusting system for moni¬ toring and adjusting the pressure of the pressing stage (8) .

15. Use of the method according to any one of claims 1 - 8, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the method is used in applications selected from a group comprising treatment of a starting material into reused products or recycled products, manufacture of composite products, manufacture of combination products, manufac¬ ture of layered products, manufacture of an asphalt raw material component, manufacture of a concrete composi¬ tion component, treatment of industrial sidestreams, manufacture of products from waste material and/or re¬ duction of the amount of waste material and their com¬ binations .

Description:
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR TREATING A STARTING MATERIAL

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a method as defined in claim 1 and to an apparatus as defined in claim 11 for treating a starting material, and to the use of the method as defined in claim 18.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the prior art, various ways are known to treat different types of starting materials, e.g. ma ¬ terials produced as waste, rejects or sidestreams and/or virgin materials. In addition, various ways are known for manufacturing different types of composite products. In general, composite products are manufac ¬ tured by extrusion.

Document CN102757594 discloses a method where polypropylene being recycled is ground into fine par ¬ ticles and pelletized with an extruder. The polypro- pylene being recycled is blended with new polypropyl ¬ ene material and plant fibre material to form a start ¬ ing material, and the starting material formed is heated and mechanically pressed into a product. Docu ¬ ment EP 1803694 discloses a method for treating a starting material that may contain metal, plastic, stone chip or paper waste material. The starting mate ¬ rial is ground, melted and extruded to form an inter ¬ mediate product that is cut into small pellets. The pellets are melted and shaped into a product in a moulding stage. Document JP 2004148796 discloses a method where a fibre-reinforced object being recycled is crushed, the crushed material is sorted into a fragment, binder is arranged to the fragment, and the fragment is arranged into a plate-like aggregate that is pressed into a product. The material is heated pri ¬ or to and during the pressing.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

The object of the invention is to disclose a new type of method and apparatus for treating a start ¬ ing material, e.g. waste material and/or virgin mate ¬ rial, and for forming a product from the starting ma ¬ terial. A further object of the invention is to dis- close a new type of method and apparatus for forming a composite product. A further object of the invention is to disclose a new type of method for treating waste material, reject material, sidestreams of a process, recycled material and reused material, especially for treating waste ending up at landfill sites, and for utilizing such waste as products. A further object of the invention is to disclose a method for reducing waste ending up at landfill sites. A further object of the invention is to disclose a method for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from waste ending up at land ¬ fill sites.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The method and apparatus according to the in- vention are characterized by the features presented in the claims.

In the method according to the invention, a starting material, e.g. waste material and/or virgin material, that contains at least organic material is treated by mechanical pressing, whereby a product is provided. The starting material is mixed in a mixing stage to form a mixture material, and preferably to raise the temperature. The mixture material is mechani ¬ cally pressed in a pressing stage where the tempera- ture of the mixture material rises due to the press- ing, and a predetermined product is formed in the pressing stage.

Further, the invention is based on an apparatus that comprises at least one mixing stage for forming a mixture material from a starting material that contains at least organic material, and at least one pressing stage for mechanically pressing the mixture material, where the temperature of the mixture material rises due to the pressing and where a predetermined product is formed.

In this connection, a starting material means any suitable starting material that contains at least organic material. The starting material may comprise waste material, recycled material, reused material and/or virgin material that contains organic material. The virgin material may comprise fresh organic material and/or fresh fibre-based material. Virgin material is intended to mean in this connection any virgin or fresh material, or a product formed from virgin mate- rial, or border, leftover or reject material produced in the manufacture of such product. The starting mate ¬ rial may comprise one or more starting material compo ¬ nents. In one embodiment the starting material is a mixture that contains waste material and virgin mate- rial. In one embodiment the starting material compris ¬ es waste material. In one embodiment the starting ma ¬ terial mainly consists of waste material, such that the starting material contains more than 50 w-% waste material .

In this connection, waste material is intend ¬ ed to mean any waste material, e.g. landfill waste ma ¬ terial, municipal waste, fractions separated from mu ¬ nicipal waste, reject material from a process or manufacture, recyclable material from various sources, and sidestreams of industrial processes, wherein the waste material contains at least organic material. The waste material may also comprise recycled material and/or reused material. The waste material may comprise one or more than one waste material component. In general, waste material is non-homogeneous material. In one em- bodiment the waste material may comprise municipal waste, a fraction separated from municipal waste, con ¬ struction waste, e.g. plasterboards and wood, demoli ¬ tion waste, industrial sidestreams, e.g. soft side- streams of the extractive industry, textile waste, ash waste, plastic waste, paperboard waste, insulation ma ¬ terial waste, fiberglass waste and/or suchlike compo ¬ nents or their combinations.

In one embodiment the starting material com ¬ prises more than 10 w-%, in one embodiment more than 20 w-%, and in one embodiment more than 30 w-% organic material, e.g. organic fibre material. Organic materi ¬ al is intended to mean in this connection biodegrada ¬ ble material, biogenic material and/or material made from materials taken from nature, e.g. paper, card- board, paperboard, pulp, plastic, wood or other biode ¬ gradable matter. In a preferred embodiment, the organic material contains air-containing cellular cavities.

In one embodiment the waste material that con ¬ tains at least organic material is mixed in the mixing stage to form a mixture material, and preferably to raise the temperature. The mixture material is mechani ¬ cally pressed in the pressing stage where the tempera ¬ ture of the mixture material rises due to the press ¬ ing, and a predetermined product is formed in the pressing stage.

In one embodiment the virgin material that con ¬ tains at least organic material is mixed in the mixing stage to form a mixture material, and preferably to raise the temperature. The mixture material is mechani- cally pressed in the pressing stage where the tempera ¬ ture of the mixture material rises due to the press- mg, and a predetermined product is formed m the pressing stage.

In one embodiment the waste material and the virgin material that contain at least organic material are mixed in the mixing stage to form a mixture materi ¬ al, and preferably to raise the temperature. The mixture material is mechanically pressed in the pressing stage where the temperature of the mixture material rises due to the pressing, and a predetermined product is formed in the pressing stage.

In one embodiment the starting material, e.g. waste material, is crushed and/or ground before the mixing stage. In one embodiment the apparatus compris ¬ es at least one crushing and/or grinding stage that comprises at least one crushing device and/or grinding device. In one embodiment the starting material or a fraction from it is ground into fibres before the mix ¬ ing stage.

In one embodiment, agglomerated mixture materi ¬ al is formed. In one embodiment, agglomerates are formed. In one embodiment the starting material, e.g. waste material, is agglomerated in the mixing stage to form agglomerated mixture material. In one embodiment the mixture material is agglomerated after the mixing device of the mixing stage. In one embodiment, the ag ¬ glomeration takes place in connection with the mixing in the mixing stage.

Agglomeration is intended to mean in this connection granulation of the material, where the material is formed into grains, lumps or balls. The agglomeration is intended to mean any agglomeration, pelletizing, bri- quetting or suchlike granulation. Advantageously during agglomeration the temperature of the material rises under the effect of friction, whereby the agglomeration takes place in the presence of heat. An agglomerate is intended to mean in this connection any agglomerate, such as granular material, grains, lumps or balls.

In one embodiment the mixture material formed may be in any suitable form, e.g. in the form of agglom- erates or in the form of other suitable pieces, grains or particles. In one embodiment the mixture material ag ¬ glomerates, pieces, grains or particles may be in a sub ¬ stantially spherical form, in a substantially prismatic form, in a substantially cylindrical form, or in other suitable form or their combinations.

In one embodiment the mixing takes place in the presence of heat. In one embodiment the temperature of the starting material, e.g. waste material, is raised in the mixing stage. In one embodiment the temperature of the material being mixed rises under the effect of the mixing. In one embodiment the temperature of the materi ¬ al being mixed rises during the mixing under the effect of friction. In one embodiment the temperature of the starting material is raised by means of heating. By means of heat the adhesion of the components of the starting material, e.g. waste material, is improved in connection with the mixing. Further, the heat facilitates e.g. the formation of the agglomerates.

In one embodiment the mixing stage comprises at least one mixing device for forming a mixture material. In one embodiment the apparatus comprises at least one agglomeration device for agglomerating the starting material or the mixture material. In one embodiment the apparatus comprises at least one pelletizing device. In one embodiment the apparatus comprises at least one bri- quetting device. In one embodiment the mixing device is selected such that the starting material is mixed and agglomerated in the mixing device. In one embodiment the mixing device is selected such that it is suited for mixing and agglomeration. In one embodiment the mixing device is an agglomeration device. The device may be any mixing device or agglomeration device known per se .

When the starting material is treated by mixing in the mixing stage, a more homogeneous and/or denser mixture material is provided. In one embodiment, addi ¬ tives as desired, e.g. coupling agents or lubricating agents, may be added to the mixture material in the mixing stage. In one embodiment, thermoplastics, e.g. recyclable plastic, recycled plastic, reused plastic and/or virgin plastic, are added to the mixture mate ¬ rial in the mixing stage. In one embodiment, thermo- sets are added, for example as a filler, to the mix ¬ ture material in the mixing stage.

In one embodiment the mixture material is fed, e.g. in the form of agglomerates, from the mixing stage to an extrusion stage. One or more mixture mate ¬ rials may be fed to the extrusion stage. In one embod ¬ iment the apparatus comprises at least one extrusion stage before the pressing stage, with at least one ex- trusion device, e.g. an extruder. In one embodiment the extrusion stage may contain different stages and tools. In one embodiment, extrusion, formation of granules and/or pressing may be carried out in the ex ¬ trusion stage. In one embodiment the extrusion device is selected from a group consisting of a screw extrud ¬ er, a 2-screw extruder, a piston extruder, other suitable extruder and their combinations. The extrusion device may be any known extrusion device or extruder.

In one embodiment the apparatus comprises an extrusion stage that may be skipped during the pro ¬ cess. In one embodiment the mixture material is fed to the extrusion stage or conducted past the extrusion stage according to the process plan and/or depending on the starting material or the product being formed.

In one embodiment, additives as desired and/or additional material are added to the mixture material in connection with the extrusion. In one embodiment the mixture material is conducted in the form of an intermediate product from the extrusion stage to the pressing stage. In one embodiment the intermediate product is a granule, a profiled intermediate product, a strip-type intermediate product, a film or their combination. In one embodiment the intermediate prod ¬ uct is in the form of granules.

In one embodiment the mixture material is fed to the pressing stage in a granular form, e.g. in the form of agglomerates or in the form of granules. In one embodiment, at least part of the material being fed to the pressing stage is in the form of agglomerates or granules. Granular material settles well and evenly in the tool of the pressing stage and fills even a tool with different shapes.

In one embodiment the mixture material is fed to the pressing stage in the form of suitable pieces, grains or particles. In one embodiment the mixture ma- terial pieces, grains or particles may be in a substan ¬ tially spherical form, in a substantially prismatic form, in a substantially cylindrical form, or in other suitable form or their combinations.

In one embodiment the mixture material is fed from the mixing stage to the pressing stage. In one embodiment the mixture material is fed from the extru ¬ sion stage to the pressing stage. In one embodiment, one or more mixture materials may be fed to the press ¬ ing stage.

In one embodiment, preferably before starting the pressing, in addition to the mixture material also other material may be fed to the pressing stage, e.g. in the form of a film, in a strip-type form, in the form of a sheet or in the form of a profile, to form a combination product, e.g. to form a layered product. In one embodiment, reinforcing material or stiffener material may be fed to the pressing stage, in addition to the mixture material or into the mixture material, to form a combination product, e.g. a layered product. A combination product is intended to mean in this con- nection any combination product that comprises at least two different materials that may be mixed with each other and/or arranged in layers with each other and/or arranged in other suitable manner with each other. In one embodiment the combination product is a layered product. In one embodiment, film-type materi ¬ al, material having a technical property, or decora ¬ tive material may be fed to the pressing stage in ad ¬ dition to the mixture material, such that the film- type material, material having a technical property or decorative material being fed can be arranged to the surface of the product being formed as a decorative component or a technical component. In one embodiment, components having a technical property, e.g. bolts, screws, nuts or magnets used for fastening, or pipe, stiffening bar or other functionality adding material may be fed to the pressing stage in addition to the mixture material, such that the product being formed is provided with a functional part, e.g. for fastening or stiffening, or for conveying a medium in a pipe present in connection with the product. In one embodi ¬ ment, filler material that may be material lighter than the mixture material may be fed to the pressing stage, in addition to the mixture material or into the mixture material, to form a combination product, whereby the volume of the product may be filled, the weight of the product reduced, or the need of the starting material decreased. In one embodiment, in the pressing stage an empty space is arranged from the mixture material inside the product being formed, e.g. by gas blowing, by foaming, by the balloon technique or in other suitable manner. In one embodiment the pressing stage comprises at least one press device for mechanically pressing the mixture material. In one embodiment the press device is selected from a group consisting of a hydraulic press device, a pneumatic press device, an electrical press device, an electromechanical press device, a mechanical press device or their combinations. In one embodiment the press device is a counter extrusion device where the material is pressed and fills the space arranged between the tools of the press device, or a movable press device or a rotary press device, or other suita ¬ ble press device. In one embodiment the press device comprises a tool arrangement for giving the shape of the product. In one embodiment the tool arrangement comprises hydraulic or pneumatic power transmission. In one embodiment the press device comprises a shape- giving tool for giving the shape of the product, which tool may be a single- or a multi-part tool. In one em ¬ bodiment the shape-giving tool comprises a shape- giving part, such as a mould, and a piston or a corre ¬ sponding power-transmitting mechanism for pressing the material against the shape-giving part, and a power and movement generating part, such as an actuator e.g. a hydraulic, pneumatic or electrical cylinder, for moving the piston or the corresponding power- transmitting mechanism. In one embodiment the press device comprises at least one additional part, e.g. a movable or stationary core or the like or other suita ¬ ble additional part that is arranged in connection with the shape-giving tool, to give shape or additional shape to the product or part of it. In one embodi ¬ ment a multi-part shape-giving tool, where the purpose of the parts is separately or collectively to shape the product or facilitate the removal of the product from the tool. The press device may be any press de ¬ vice known per se. In one embodiment, sufficient pressure to bring the product to a desired shape is arranged to the pressing stage and to the press device.

In one embodiment the mixture material is heated before the pressing stage, preferably below the melting temperature so that the particles, such as ag ¬ glomerates or granules, of the mixture material will not adhere to each other and form a large cluster of mass, e.g. an aggregate. In one embodiment the mixture material is heated before the pressing stage to a tem ¬ perature that is at least the melting temperature of the mixture material or any of its components. In one embodiment the mixture material is heated before the pressing stage to a temperature of 80 - 250 °C, in one embodiment 170 - 220 °C, and in one embodiment 140 - 170 °C, depending on the starting material and the ad ¬ ditives. In one embodiment the mixture material is heated before the pressing stage to a temperature that is below the melting temperature of the material. In one embodiment the mixture material is heated in con ¬ nection with the extrusion stage. In one embodiment the mixture material is heated in connection with the pressing stage.

In one embodiment the method comprises a heating stage before the pressing stage. In one embod ¬ iment the mixture material is heated after the mixing stage in the heating stage before the pressing stage. In one embodiment the heating stage comprises at least one heating device. The heating device may be any heating device known per se.

In one embodiment the mixture material is cooled before the pressing stage, e.g. after the ex ¬ trusion stage.

In one embodiment the mixture material is fed to the pressing stage without separate heating or cooling . In one embodiment the temperature at the start of the pressing stage is below the melting temperature of the mixture material, so that the parti ¬ cles of the mixture material, e.g. agglomerates or granules, will not adhere to each other.

In one embodiment the temperature at the start of the pressing stage is at least the melting temperature of the mixture material or any of its com ¬ ponents .

In the pressing stage the temperature of the mixture material rises due to the pressing, preferably due to compression of the mixture material, and/or by means of an external heat source, e.g. a heater device or a heated press device. The rise of the temperature of the mixture material due to the pressing and the amount of the rise of the temperature depends on the mixture material. Preferably the giving of the shape of the product takes place in the pressing stage in the presence of heat. In one embodiment a gas present in the mixture material, e.g. gas in the cellular cav ¬ ities of the organic material and/or gas between the particles of the mixture material, is compressed and its pressure rises, providing the rise of the tempera ¬ ture of the mixture material in the pressing stage. In one embodiment the friction increases during the pressing, which raises the temperature of the mixture material. In one embodiment the pressing is carried out such that the pressure increases and the tempera ¬ ture increases in the cells of the organic material of the mixture material, such as the cells of organic fi ¬ bre, whereby the components of the material, e.g. fi ¬ bres, adhere to each other. In one embodiment the mix ¬ ture material at least partly melts in the pressing stage under the effect of heat and forms into a prod- uct . In one embodiment, in connection with the press device there is a heater device and/or a cooling device for heating and/or cooling the shape-giving tool of the press device. In one embodiment the shape- giving tool is heated before the pressing. In one em ¬ bodiment the shape-giving tool is not heated before the pressing, whereby a so-called cold tool is used. In one embodiment, at least one part of the shape- giving tool is heated and at least one part is not heated before the pressing. In one embodiment the shape-giving tool may be arranged to a temperature where the mixture material does not adhere to it in the mixture material feeding stage. In one embodiment an additive may be added to the mixture material to prevent the adhesion of the mixture material to the shape-giving tool. In one embodiment a substance or material may be arranged to the surface of the shape- giving tool or between the shape-giving tool and the mixture material to prevent the adhesion of the mix- ture material to the shape-giving tool. In one embodi ¬ ment the shape-giving tool is provided with such a structure that it is compressible after the pressing stage, whereby the product is easily removable from the shape-giving tool.

In one embodiment a heater device is provided in connection with the press device for heating the mixture material in the pressing stage. In one embodi ¬ ment the mixture material is heated in connection with the pressing stage.

In one embodiment the apparatus comprises at least one temperature adjusting device for measuring and adjusting temperature. In one embodiment the tem ¬ perature adjusting device is arranged in the mixing stage. In one embodiment the temperature adjusting de- vice is arranged in the pressing stage. In one embodi ¬ ment the temperature adjusting device is arranged in the extrusion stage. In one embodiment the temperature adjusting device is arranged in the heating stage.

In one embodiment the apparatus comprises at least one temperature determining device for measuring temperature. In one embodiment the temperature deter ¬ mining device is arranged in the mixing stage. In one embodiment the temperature determining device is ar ¬ ranged in the pressing stage. In one embodiment the temperature determining device is arranged in the ex- trusion stage. In one embodiment the temperature de ¬ termining device is arranged in the heating stage.

In one embodiment the apparatus comprises a pressure adjusting system for monitoring and adjusting the pressure of the pressing stage and the associated press device. In one embodiment the apparatus compris ¬ es a force adjusting system for monitoring and adjusting the force of the pressing stage. In one embodiment the pressing is arranged to a predetermined pressure level in the pressing stage. In one embodiment the pressing in the pressing stage is arranged to a pres ¬ sure level which provides a sufficient temperature. In one embodiment, in the pressing stage the temperature is raised to a level where at least part of the mix ¬ ture material melts. In one embodiment the pressure adjusting system maintains the pressure level at a de ¬ sired level during the pressing.

In one embodiment the process according to the method is operated continuously. In one embodiment the apparatus is arranged to operate continuously. In one embodiment, agglomerates are formed, which may be stored temporarily and/or transported as feed material to a separate extrusion stage and/or pressing stage.

The method and apparatus according to the invention may be used in applications selected from the group of: treatment of a starting material into reused products or recycled products, manufacture of compo- site products, manufacture of combination products, manufacture of layered products, manufacture of an as ¬ phalt raw material component, manufacture of a con ¬ crete composition component, treatment of industrial sidestreams, manufacture of products from waste mate ¬ rial, reduction of the amount of waste material and their combinations.

Due to the invention, various starting mate ¬ rials may be utilized in the manufacture of a variety of products with many sizes, such as composite prod ¬ ucts. Further due to the invention, raw materials of a low degree of processing as well as waste, reject and leftover materials may be easily treated and formed into useful products. By means of the invention the amount of waste ending up at landfill sites may be re ¬ duced, and carbon dioxide emissions may be reduced.

The devices needed in the method and apparatus according to the invention are simple. Especially the devices needed in the pressing stage are simple and in ¬ expensive, so production of the products is also easy to be decentralized. Furthermore, pressing as a process is simple. It is easy to manufacture, treat, store and transport the agglomerates, and they may be manufactured as intermediate products.

The method according to the invention does not produce additional waste nor emissions.

Further, by the method and apparatus accord ¬ ing to the invention, various composite products may be produced economically and safely. The method and apparatus may be flexibly used in the manufacture of large and small batches. Also the maintenance and ser ¬ vicing costs are low. LIST OF FIGURES

Fig. 1 represents one apparatus according to the invention, and

Fig. 2 represents another apparatus according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention will be described below by way of detailed examples of its embodiments with reference to the accompanying figures.

Example 1

Fig. 1 represents an apparatus that comprises a mixing stage (4) for forming a mixture material (5) from a starting material (1) that contains at least or ¬ ganic material, and a pressing stage (8) for mechanical ¬ ly pressing the mixture material into a product (9) by means of heat.

The mixing stage (4) comprises a mixing de ¬ vice for forming the mixture material (5) . The mixing stage may also comprise an agglomeration device for forming agglomerates. Alternatively the mixing device is selected such that the starting material is mixed and agglomerated in the mixing device. The mixing de ¬ vice may be an agglomeration device known per se, where both mixing and agglomeration takes place. In the agglomeration device the temperature of the material rises under the effect of friction in connection with the mixing. Preferably the mixing takes place in the presence of heat.

The pressing stage (8) comprises a press de ¬ vice, such as a tool comprising a shape-giving part, such as a mould, and a piston for moving the material and pressing it against the shape-giving part, and an actuator e.g. a hydraulic, pneumatic or electrical cylinder, for moving the piston and providing the pressing. The press device may be a counter extrusion device. Alternatively the press device may be a mova ¬ ble press, a rotary press or other known press device. The apparatus comprises a pressure adjusting system for monitoring and adjusting the pressure of the press device .

In one embodiment the starting material (1) that contains at least organic material is mixed in the mixing stage (4) to form the mixture material (5) . The starting material (1) preferably contains waste materi ¬ al. The mixture material (5) is in the form of agglomer ¬ ates after the mixing stage. The mixture material ag ¬ glomerates are conducted or placed to the tool of the press device of the pressing stage (8), where the ag- glomerates are mechanically pressed. The actuator of the tool moves the piston against the mould, such that the pressure of air in the mixture material starts to in ¬ crease while the volume decreases, which results in the rise of the temperature of the compressing air. The tem- perature of the mixture material rises due to the press ¬ ing, and the product (9) is formed in the presence of heat. Advantageously the pressure of air inside the cellular cavities of the organic material rises due to the pressing, such that the temperature rises and the components, such as fibres, of the mixture material adhere to each other so as to form a desired product.

Example 2

Fig. 2 represents an apparatus comprising a starting material (1) crushing/grinding stage (2), a mixing stage (4) for forming a mixture material (5) from the starting material that contains at least or ¬ ganic material, an extrusion stage (6) , and a pressing stage (8) for mechanically pressing the mixture mate- rial into a product (9) by means of heat. The apparatus comprises at least one crushing and/or grinding stage (2) for crushing the starting material .

The mixing stage (4) comprises a mixing de- vice for forming the mixture material (5) . Preferably the mixing device is an agglomeration device known per se, where both mixing and agglomeration takes place. In the agglomeration device the temperature of the mate ¬ rial rises under the effect of friction in connection with the mixing. Preferably the mixing takes place in the presence of heat.

The extrusion stage (6) comprises an extrusion device, such as an extruder that is disposed before the pressing stage (8) . In the extrusion stage the mixture material (5) is formed into an extrusion intermediate product, such as granules (7) that are conducted to the pressing stage (8) .

The pressing stage (8) comprises a press de ¬ vice, such as a tool comprising a shape-giving part, such as a mould, and a piston for moving the material and pressing it against the shape-giving part, and an actuator e.g. a hydraulic, pneumatic or electrical cylinder, for moving the piston and providing the pressing. The press device may be a counter extrusion device. Alternatively the press device may be a mova ¬ ble press, a rotary press or other known press device. The apparatus comprises a pressure adjusting system for monitoring and adjusting the pressure of the press device .

In one embodiment the starting material (1) that contains at least organic material is crushed in the crushing and/or grinding stage (2) . The starting material (1) preferably contains waste material. Crushed starting material (3) is mixed in the mixing stage (4) to form the mixture material (5) . To the mixture materi ¬ al, additives as desired may be added in the mixing stage. The mixture material is in the form of agglomer ¬ ates after the mixing stage. The mixture material (5) is fed in the form of agglomerates from the mixing stage (4) to the extrusion stage (6), where the mix- ture material is formed into the intermediate product (7) that may be in the form of granules. In the extru ¬ sion stage, additional material as desired or addi ¬ tives (10) may be added to the mixture material. The mixture material in the form of granules (7) is conducted or placed to the tool of the press device of the press ¬ ing stage (8), where the agglomerates are mechanically pressed. The actuator of the tool moves the piston against the mould, such that the pressure of air in the mixture material starts to increase while the volume de- creases, which results in the rise of the temperature of the compressing air. The temperature of the mixture ma ¬ terial rises due to the pressing, and the product (9) is formed in the presence of heat. Advantageously the pressure of air inside the cellular cavities of the organic material rises due to the pressing, such that the temperature rises and the components, such as fi ¬ bres, of the mixture material adhere to each other so as to form a desired product. Example 3

this example the product (9) is formed from the starting material (1) by the apparatus ac ¬ cording to Fig. 2 and Example 2, where the extrusion stage (6) is replaced with a mixture material (5) heating stage.

Example 4

this example the product (9) is formed from the starting material (1) by the apparatus ac ¬ cording to Fig. 2 and Example 2, where the extrusion stage (6) is replaced with a mixture material (5) heating stage and where the press device used is a me ¬ chanical press device that is provided with additional heating to facilitate the pressing. Example 5

In this example the product (9) is formed from the starting material (1) by the apparatus ac ¬ cording to Fig. 1 and Example 1 or Fig. 2 and Example 2, where there is no extrusion stage (6) and where in the pressing stage, also other material is used in ad ¬ dition to the mixture material to form the product.

The method and apparatus according to the in ¬ vention are suited as different embodiments for use in a variety of applications to treat a variety of start ¬ ing materials. Further, the method and apparatus ac ¬ cording to the invention are suited as different em ¬ bodiments for use in the manufacture of a variety of composite products. Further, the method and apparatus according to the invention are suited as different em ¬ bodiments for use to treat a variety of waste materi ¬ als .

The invention is not limited merely to the above examples, but many variations are possible with- in the scope of the inventive idea defined by the claims .