Process – Cellulose Insulation
The first step in the process of creating cellulose insulation to improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort starts with the blue box. Recycled newsprint post consumer is collected curbside and sorted to remove plastic, wood and other contaminants. The recycled newspaper is mixed with post industrial recycling which consists of unsold newspapers.
All paper utilized is 100% recycled top grade quality paper.
In our facility it is sorted again to ensure the cleanest possible raw material is used. The bales of newsprint get cut open and mixed up / loosened by our workers who then inspect it and remove any undesirable material. It is then fed into our system where it passes by magnets and a separator to ensure any metal (like staples) are removed.
The next step in insulation production is to reduce and breakup the paper, this is accomplished by 3 stages of grinding which makes the paper pieces smaller and smaller until it finally passes through our fiberizer which reduced the material from pieces of newspaper into fibres that provide the insulation and resistance to airflow that cellulose is known for.
Prior to the final stage of fiberizing, the chemical additive is metered out and blended with the paper. The amount and type of chemicals added depends on the product being made (all borate, wet-spray or dry attic blown-in insulation). The chemical is ground to a 500 mesh (which is even smaller particles than white baking flour). Then, the chemicals and the paper are heated up and put through the fiberizer together which embeds and distributes the chemical through each fiber of the paper. This process ensures that the chemicals can never separate out and cause any dust or other concerns. It also ensures that the cellulose always performs it best in slowing the spread of fires, deterring insects and rodents and preventing mold and mildew.
The chemicals used are different versions of Borax, and ammonium sulphate the quantities required and the types of borax used depend on the type of insulation being made. The typical level of chemical is less than 15% by weight of the final product.
Borax (also known as sodium borate) is a naturally occurring chemical that is an excellent fire retarder and anti-fungal agent. It is frequently refined and purified into boric acid to be able to reduce the amount of chemical required to perform the necessary job of resisting fire and fighting mold.