Title: Transformation of waste to resources : life cycle based benefits of the circular economy
Authors : Itten, René
Stucki, Matthias
Conference details: 1st Life Cycle Innovation Conference (LCIC), Berlin, 29.-31. August 2018
Issue Date: 30-Aug-2018
License (according to publishing contract) : Not specified
Type of review: Peer review (Abstract)
Language : English
Subjects : Platform; Life cycle assessment; Transformation; Circular systems; Green economy; Reuse
Subject (DDC) : 338.927: Environmental economics and sustainable development
Abstract: There is a plethora of wastes and by-products that remain unused in the traditional linear industrial system. The aim of a circular economy is to transform these unused wastes into usable resources. This transformation from a linear to a circular system is challenging due the limited knowledge on possibilities for the reuse of such waste products. In addition, the actual reuse is hindered by several constraints such as lacking information on the specific composition of the unused waste, on the availability of the unused waste in time and space as well as on the quantity of unused waste. The goal of the SHAREBOX Horizon 2020 project is the use information and communications technology for the development of a platform for the facilitation of circular approaches for material and waste flows within the European processing industries. The SHAREBOX platform is a database of available waste and resources required by companies. The matching of supply and demand by the platform enables the transformation of waste to resources. The platform also serves as the first point of contact between different partners in a circular system. Furthermore, the platform enables the identification of new synergies between the different subsectors of the industries as well as optimal matching from the perspective of a circular economy. We analysed the life cycle based impacts and benefits the transformation of different waste types to usable resources including relevant life cycle steps as beneficiation and transportation. The analysis for greenhouse gases, primary energy demand and mineral resource use revealed that the environmental benefit of transformation from waste to resources strongly depends on the reused material type as well as crucial properties like density of the material and geographic proximity of the partners of the synergy. However, the relative benefits were higher for the mineral resource compared to greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy demand, mainly due to the energy requirement in the steps beneficiation and transportation. Transformation from linear systems to circular systems can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions; primary energy demand as well as mineral resource use of the whole value chain and contribute to a greener economy. However, the reuse of resources also cause additional impacts in the life cycle stage of beneficiation as well as transportation, especially for primary energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, the completeness of the scope is crucial for the assessment and generalisations overarching different types of waste remain challenging.
Further description : Oral presentation
Departement: Life Sciences und Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR)
Publication type: Conference Other
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/10573
Published as part of the ZHAW project : H2020: SHAREBOX
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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