Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE)
(H2020-MSCA-RISE-2014: Project 643322)
Development of flexible pyrolysis-catalysis processing of waste plastics for selective production of high value products through research and innovation.
The Research and Innovation Staff Exchange project aims to develop and maintain long term collaborations between Universities in the European Union with China and Australia. The collaboration is centered around the goal of advancing beyond the current state-of-the-art of wastes pyrolysis through staff exchanges with world-leading researchers in pyrolysis process engineering, catalysis and modelling/simulation. Advancement beyond the state-of-the-art is the innovation of introducing novel catalysts into the pyrolysis process to produce the next generation of advanced thermal treatment technologies for plastic wastes.
The technical aim of the project is therefore to develop a fully flexible, integrated pyrolysis & catalyst technology to treat waste plastics and biomass to produce high value:(i) hydrogen (ii) carbon nanotubes (iii) chemicals or (iv) gasoline, through control of the waste pyrolysis process conditions and the use of novel designable catalysts.
The main project objectives are targeting 25 million tonnes of waste plastics generated in the EU each year, which can through research and innovation be turned from a waste problem into a valuable resource for high value products. Waste plastics have the potential for high levels of recycling, however, the overall recycling of plastics remains at a low level. In addition, waste biomass represents an enormous resource for the EU with an estimated >200 million tonnes of waste biomass generated each year in the EU. This waste represents non-crop food biomass and therefore does not compete with land used for food production.
Utilising this biomass resource alongside waste plastics has the potential to open up a novel application of the proposed flexible technology to a huge untapped resource and offset greenhouse gas emissions by producing high value products from the waste biomass and plastics co-processing option. In addition, recent research has shown that co-processing of waste plastics and biomass has a synergistic effect, producing increased production of higher value chemicals and liquid fuels and reduced catalyst coking. The addition of waste biomass as a feedstock to be investigated in this project would represent a further advancement beyond the state-of-the-art of pyrolysis technology.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop waste recycling processes which are innovative, environmentally and socially acceptable with the potential for high economic reward. Such innovation is attractive to entrepreneurial exploitation by large businesses and SME’s, resulting in job creation.