Work Package 2: Advanced recycling technologies

Work package 2 leaders Dr. Martin Schlummer and Laura Strobl are working at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV. Fraunhofer is the leading organisation for applied research in Europe, undertaking contract research on behalf of industry, the service sector and government. Fraunhofer IVV develops and optimises products and processes primarily in the area of food, packaging, product performance, processing machinery, recycling and environment.

Can you introduce yourself? 

Dr. Martin Schlummer started as an Environmental Chemist and got a PhD from FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg for his work on recycling plastics from electronic scrap. Today, he manages the Business Field “Recycling and Environment” and is Deputy Head of department “Process Development Polymer Recycling”. Laura Strobl has been working in this department as a research associate for over 4 years. She conducts research in the recycling of plastic mix waste streams, like WEEE, ELV and C&DW, with the solvent based CreaSolv® Process.

”In the INCREACE project, we will be responsible for the theme of work package 2 – Advanced recycling technologies.”

What is the role of WP2 in the INCREACE project?

”The role of work package 2 ‘Advanced recycling technologies’ is to clarify the best combinations of raw materials, technologies, upgrading potential and product specifications. MIREC, NESTE and Fraunhofer IVV will ensure the application of different recycling technologies to produce recyclates for the different business cases. Furthermore, SAP will further adapt digital information management, blockchain and related technologies further adapt the recycling processes to provide transparent traceability and and identify the origin of recycling materials.

What are the main goals and tasks of your work package?

”The main objective of WP2 is the optimisation and complementary analysis of different recycling technologies (mechanical, chemical, solvent-based). It is not assumed that technologies compete with the same materials. Instead, the best combination of raw materials, technologies, upgrading potential and product specifications are developed.

What challenges do you face within the WP and how are you addressing them?

”Nowadays, the complexity of different waste streams makes it even more difficult to find suitable recycling options and recycle the different polymers. By bringing together the different advanced recycling technologies together in INCREACE, we aim to overcome these challenges and increase the availability of recyclates.”

Could you tell us about the partners involved in the Work package and the reasons for their participation?

NESTE joined the INCREACE project as an industrial partner in the consortium to develop ways to chemically recycle plastic components from Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and to introduce advanced recycling technologies to be considered in the project. NESTE’s decades of experience in oil refining, combined with refining expertise in upgrading low-quality raw materials, provide a solid foundation for the rapid demonstration and scaling up of chemical recycling.

MIREC is an industrial partner in the INCREACE project. The recycling company performs WEEE recycling for the Netherlands. In the INCREACE project, they will combine industrial recycling technologies and find suitable equipment in the Remondis network. They will perform industrial mechanical recycling to provide clean recycled flakes.

SAP: GreenToken is a raw material supply chain transparency and tracking tool. GreenToken’s role is to provide a cloud software system that proves beyond doubt that new plastic material is circular, i.e. recycled from old plastic waste, and identifies interesting attributes such as waste origin, supply chain partners, percentages of circular content and other facts that prove that it is recycled material and not from virgin raw sources.

Fraunhofer IVV, especially the department of process development of polymer recycling, joined the INCREACE project as a research partner in the consortium. Fraunhofer IVV will contribute with their dissolution based recycling process to an advanced recycling technology, which will provide in the end recyclates, free of foreign polymer and hazardous substances, for the different business cases.”

What do you anticipate the impact of your Work package to be?

”Increasing the share of recycled plastics in new products. Provide recyclates from each technology. Developed the best combination of raw materials, technologies, upgrading potential and product specifications for each Business Case.”

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    This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grand agreement No 101058487