SPIRE Call: Efficient recycling processes for plastic containing materials (IA)
Deadline: 22 February 2018 17:00:00
Plastics materials are produced mainly from raw materials of fossil origin (e.g. PE, PP, and PET). A variety of bio-based plastic materials are increasingly available. Plastic materials are used in a wide range of applications because of their properties, versatility, lightweight and price, for example for making lightweight polymer composites to substitute metals and in more traditional applications, such as packaging. The wide use of these materials results in a huge amount of plastic waste. Recycling and redesign of plastics are essential in reusing plastic waste material and avoiding landfill. This also allows utilising plastics as carbon sinks in an optimal way, before using them for energy recovery at the end of life. A major challenge lies in the development of process technologies, utilising plastic waste as starting material (at least in part). A better use of underexploited resource (plastic waste) for the production of added value products (not restricted to plastics but excluding fuels) and process streams would support the circular economy.
Proposals submitted under this topic are expected to cover processes for the production of recyclable materials containing plastics. Aspects to be considered are:
- Improved energy and resource efficiency. The processes proposed are expected to have a lower environmental footprint compared to the current state of the art for the production of added value products; this should be proved by Life Cycle Assessment as well as Life Cycle Cost to prove the economic viability of the proposed technology;
- Integration with the relevant value chains, ensuring the secure supply of the raw material streams. In this respect, a clear strategy to involve the relevant actors along the value chain is expected;
- Process flexibility and ability to utilise waste heterogeneous plastic materials, including plastic composites, as input to allow the recycling and the re-processing of this widely available resource into added value products (excluding fuels). Sustainable raw materials, such as bio-based raw materials and organic waste could also be considered;
- Key issues related to the quality of the raw (including secondary) material streams should be covered, and in particular the heterogeneity of the waste plastic material, as well as the wide variety of substances contained in plastic materials (e.g. plasticisers, anti-oxidants, etc.). The valorisation of fillers or fibres from composites should also be covered;
- Quality/specifications of the yielded streams ensuring their usability by downstream industries;
- Non-technological hurdles, such as regulations and standards, to enable the prompt deployment in industry of the developed concepts and economic indicators (e.g. CAPEX and OPEX).
Demonstration activities, prototypes and pilot implementations in real industrial settings for the concepts proposed are expected.
Proposals submitted under this topic should include actions designed to facilitate cooperation with other projects; to enhance user involvement; and to ensure the accessibility and reusability of data produced in the course of the project.
Activities should start at TRL 5 and achieve TRL 7 at the end of the project.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
- More efficient and sustainable chemical process and processing technologies utilising plastic waste as starting material for the production of added value products such as recyclable plastic materials (e.g. composites) and chemicals but excluding fuels);
- The technologies proposed should provide a decreased utilisation of primary fossil resources in the process industry of at least 30%;
- The concepts proposed should provide a decrease in CO2 emissions of at least 20%;
- The concept should utilise at least 70% of waste material including at least 40% of plastic waste;
- Effective dissemination of major innovation outcomes to the current next generation of employees of the SPIRE sectors, through the development, by education/training experts, of learning resources with flexible usability. These should be ready to be easily integrated in existing curricula and modules for undergraduate level and lifelong learning programmes.
Relevant indicators and metrics, with baseline values, should be clearly stated in the proposal.
Note: The recommendation for participation of researchers from the EaP countries is mentioned in the introductory part for the SPIRE calls in the H2020 Work Programme, where we can read: "international cooperation may be particularly appropriate in some areas of the Sustainable Process Industry, in particular with Eastern Partnership countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus)."