Characterization of mineral wool waste chemical composition, organic resin content and fiber dimensions: Aspects for valorization

Waste Manag. 2021 Jul 15:131:323-330. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2021.06.022. Epub 2021 Jul 1.


Despite mineral wool waste is only a small fraction of total construction and demolition waste (CDW) by mass, it requires large transportation and landfilling capacities due to its low bulk density, and its utilization remains low compared to other CDW types. It is essential to understand the physical and chemical properties of this waste fraction in order to utilize it, e.g. as fiber reinforcement in composites or as supplementary cementitious material. Here, we provide a chemical and physical characterization of 15 glass wool and 12 stone wool samples of different ages collected from various locations across Europe. In addition, the chemical compositions of 61 glass and stone wool samples obtained from the literature are presented. Glass wool samples show little variation in their chemical composition, which resembles the composition of typical soda-lime silicate glass. Stone wool presents a composition similar to basaltic glass but with variability between samples in terms of calcium, magnesium, and iron content. Potentially toxic elements, such as Cr, Ba, and Ni, are present in mineral wools, but in low concentrations (<0.2%). Both wool types contain organic resin, which may decompose into smaller molecular fragments and ammonia upon heating or contact with alkaline solution. Mineral wool wastes have relatively similar length and width distributions, despite the age and type of the mineral wool. Overall, both mineral wool waste types have homogenous chemical and physical properties as compared to many other mineral wastes which makes their utilization as a secondary raw material promising.

Keywords: Fiber size; Glass wool; Mineral wool waste; Phenol-urea–formaldehyde resin; Stone wool; Vitreous fibers.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Compounds
  • Europe
  • Glass*
  • Minerals
  • Silicates*


  • Calcium Compounds
  • Minerals
  • Silicates
  • calcium silicate