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Our research contributes to improving the environment

The NONTOX and LIFE SUPERBIODIESEL projects have received the attention of the Revista Técnica de Medio Ambiente, RETEMA, (Technical Journal of the Environment) which in the program Voces del cambio “Ciencia: el viento que mueve el sector” has interviewed researchers Juan Miguel Moreno and José Luis Gálvez to disseminate the contributions of both European projects to improving the environment. The podcast can be heard here (from minute 13:07). 

The H2020 NONTOX project aims to develop and optimize innovative solutions to increase the recycling rates of plastics waste containing hazardous substances and to produce safe and high quality secondary plastic materials. It focuses on the removal of hazardous and undesired substances from plastic waste taking into account the whole value chain: sorting and pre-treatment techniques, recycling technologies but also post-treatment techniques. Valorisation of by-products and removed substances is also considered to enhance potential applications. NONTOX targets plastics originating from WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), ELV (End of Life Vehicles) and C&DW (Construction and Demolition Waste) streams containing hazardous additives or undesired compounds such as flame-retardants, stabilizers, fillers, etc. Main secondary plastic outputs will include for example, ABS, EPS, PS, HIPS, PE, PP. NONTOX further develop two different technologies (Extruclean and CreaSolv®) to remove hazardous substances from aforementioned plastic waste streams, allowing for increased recycling rates. It also improve knowledge and state of the art concerning pre-treatment and sorting of plastic waste containing hazardous substances. Thermochemical conversion of non-target plastics and side streams from the main recycling processes is investigated to increase system efficiency by integration and widen the range of final products and applications. 

IMDEA Energy is responsible of the thermocatalytic conversion of non-target plastics and side streams from the new mechanical recycling processes as well as the removal and safe disposal of the hazardous substances from those streams. The new developments in the thermochemical conversion field will contribute to increase the recycling rate of original waste plastics avoiding land filling or incineration of those non-mechanically recyclable streams.

The objective of the LIFE Superbiodiesel project (Production of advanced biodiesel from animal wastes using supercritical technologies) is to demonstrate on a pilot scale a new technology for the transesterification of fats with methanol under supercritical conditions using new heterogeneous catalysts. The process allows greater flexibility in terms of the acidity of the source fats, the reduction or elimination of glycerine by-products, the reduction of the carbon footprint well above the objectives of the Renewable Energy Directive, and the reduction of polluted effluents from the process.

The role of IMDEA Energy consists of the environmental and socio-economic analysis of the process by monitoring the results of techno-economic relevance, the definition of key performance indicators, the modelling the process and its alternatives and the study of its economic viability.

More information: Félix Marín, Responsible for Development and Technology Transfer, felix.marin@imdea.org

Event Date: 
Friday, December 18, 2020