A hub for materials recycling
The European Union’s Circular Economy Action Plan is based on the assumption that up to 80 percent of a product’s environmental impact is determined during the design phase. In order to foster an approach to sustainable production, the European research infrastructure project ReMade@ARI will be launched now. It commits to leverage the development of on innovative, sustainable material such as electronics, batteries, vehicles, construction, packaging, plastics, textiles and food. The project starts on September 1, under leadership of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR). The Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon is also involved. The goal: designing new materials that are both competitively functional and highly recyclable.
An illustrative example: In the supermarket, fruits and vegetables are often packaged in plastics to extend their shelf life. In future, bio-based materials derived from wood could provide a sustainable alternative. This is where ReMade@ARI comes into play: research leading to the development of sophisticated new materials crucially relies on access to the world-class European research infrastructures, which joined forces in the project.
Hereon’s technique at its best
Adjustment of a measuring device on the tomography beamline IBL and PETRA III/DESY. Photo: Hereon/ Christian Schmid
ReMade@ARI will have a significant impact on the advancement of the circular economy. Overall, 40 partners of the scientifically ARIE network are involved. Hereon is contributing to the work Package 6: “Reaching out to industry and SMEs/ Pilot studies for an Open Innovation Test Bed” and will enable industrial access for test measurements to the beamlines operated by Hereon’s German Engineering Materials Science Centre (GEMS) platform at DESY’s synchrotron light source PETRA III. GEMS is a central user access platform, where the Hereon provides a worldwide unique infrastructure for complementary research with photons and neutrons. ReMade@ARI is being funded by the EU with 13.8 million Euros.
The ReMade@ARI platform will be the central hub for all sectors and research areas in which new materials for a circular economy will be developed. “We provide scientists who are working on the design of new recyclable materials with analytical tools that enable them to explore the properties and the structure of their material in smallest details up to atomic resolution. This requires the exploitation of the most diverse analytical methods, involving appropriate combinations of photons, electrons, neutrons, ions, positrons and the highest magnetic fields,” says Dr Stefan Facsko from HZDR, the project’s scientific coordinator. “Any scientist in academic or industrial research working on new recyclable materials should get in touch with us.”
A project with high potential
A particular focus will be on research fields in which up to now, the potential of research infrastructures has not yet been exploited. Dr. Marc Thiry, industrial relations officer at GEMS, will act as the contact person in ReMade@ARI for access to the synchrotron beamlines at DESY in Hamburg and the neutron instruments at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum in Garching near Munich. He will also support the Advisory Board for Circular Economy in Remade@ARI. He says: “The unique techniques provided by analytical research infrastructures can be a vital tool for industrial researchers to get insights into their materials and the processes necessary to enable reuse and recycling of resources. The instruments operated by GEMS are designed for materials science purposes, mainly in the field of metals and alloys. But they are also very useful and important for looking deeply into materials like plastics, composites or wood.”
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