Automatgenererad bild.

3 July 2012

Seven projects are turning waste into gold in Mistra’s Closing the Loop

This autumn sees the start of Mistra’s Closing the Loop programme, which will develop methods for using waste from industrial processes. The aims are to save natural resources, generate financial added value and boost efficiency in industry. Seven projects have been awarded funds.

– We’ve received 26 applications of very high academic quality, and seven of these have now been approved for funding, says Mistra Programme Director Christopher Folkeson Welch.

The upper limit for the application call was SEK 42 million. Mistra decided that SEK 36.5 million should be divided among the projects. As programme host, the skills centre SP Waste Refinery has been appointed.

The purpose of the research in Mistra’s Closing the Loop is to create valuable resources from industrial waste. Today, industrial processes leave behind large quantities of waste in the form of metals, plastic and chemicals. They also entail energy losses.

Christopher Folkeson Welch continues: ‘The idea is that the projects in Mistra’s Closing the Loop will develop methods for identifying and restoring resources to industry.’

From phosphorus to reused slag

One of the projects aims to develop methods for better recycling of materials from end-of-life (ELV) vehicles. There is an EU Directive under which 95% of ELV vehicles must be recovered from 2015, but this is not yet taking place.
Another of the seven projects involves investigating the scope for recycling phosphorus. One use of phosphorus is in fertiliser, and it is a substance that may soon become scarce worldwide. Additional projects concern recycling of plastics and composite materials; slag from aluminium recycling; and purifying slag from steel production to enable it to be used in cement manufacture.

The programme also sets out to create a database in which the various projects should be able to feed in their raw data, and where it will be possible to identify residues and waste products and find out what their value is and where they can be obtained.

The following applications have been approved:

• Realising Resource-Efficient Recycling of Vehicles — Realise, headed by Maria Ljunggren Söderman of Chalmers University of Technology in cooperation with IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Volvo Car Corporation, Volvo Trucks, Kuusakoski, BIL Sweden, AB SKF, Stena Recycling AB, BilRetur ABC AB and Walters Bildelar AB.
• Closing the Loop for Phosphorus in Chemical Industry Residues, headed by Britt-Marie Steenari of Chalmers University of Technology in cooperation with AkzoNobel.
• Material Efficiency Management in Manufacturing — MEMIMAN, headed by Marcus Bjelkemyr from Mälardalens Högskola in cooperation with Lund University, Swerea-IVF, Volvo Group Trucks Technology, Volvo Construction Equipment, Stena Recycling AB, DynaMate AB, Concentric, Alfa Laval and MiljöGiraff AB.
• Sustainable Recycling of  ‘Green’ Plastics and Industrial Plastic Waste, headed by Johanna Berlin of SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden in cooperation with University of Borås, Chalmers University of Technology, Cefur, Roxtec International AB and Tarkett AB.
• From Industrial Waste to Product Design, headed by Ralf Rosenberg of Chalmers University of Technology in cooperation with Semcon Caran AB and Stena Recycling AB.
• Increased Use of By-products and Wastes from the Steel Industry in Cement Production, headed by Rainer Backman of Umeå University in cooperation with Luleå University, Cementa AB and SSAB Merox AB.
• Quick Flux — Production of Calcium Aluminate out of Aluminium Black Dross, headed by Sten Ångström of Swerea MEFOS AB in cooperation with Swerea IVF, Stena Aluminium AB, SSAB EMEA AB and Chalmers University of Technology.

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