A novel approach to environmental cleanup of inland water courses
© Lehrstuhl fĂĽr Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2022)
Despite growing awareness and improving practices, littering is a worldwide challenge with catastrophic impact on the ecosystem. Inland waters in particular represent one of the main sources of pollution for the oceans. Detecting and retrieving this waste when still in rivers is an effective and efficient way to remediate the environment before the damage spreads over large areas. Implementing barriers faces a range of technical and economic challenges, leading to long and complex project developments. For this reason, the Italian company Mold S.r.l. decided to adopt a life-cycle perspective to study potential projects with their innovative barrier River Cleaning system and focus on the most impactful. In this paper we present LCA results done on exemplary regions and derive the learnings and criteria for future market developments of the system, linking thus life-cycle thinking and business development.

Recycling potential of recycled carbon fibers used in textile concrete from a technical and environmental point of view
© Lehrstuhl fĂĽr Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2022)
As an important element in construction industry, cement production caused alone 2 % of total greenhouse gas emissions in Germany in 2017 and global average was even with a greater value, 8 % (WWF 2019). Considering the great impact of construction industry on the environment, Fiber reinforcement (carbon or glass) is seen as a meaningful alternative to steel reinforcement in the production of concrete. Due to their low weight, high strength and lifetime, carbon fibers have been increasingly used in construction industry. On the one hand, the use of CF reinforced concrete enables great amount of resource savings compared to conventional concrete, specifically steel reinforced concrete (Böhm et al. 2018). On the other hand, CFs have some disadvantages, such as high cost, energy intensive production process and challenging end-of-life (EOL) handling (Zhang et al. 2020).

On the road to 2050: The path to achieving a circular economy for mobility and renewable energy
© Lehrstuhl fĂĽr Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2022)
Climate change is one of the biggest crises humanity is facing at this time (Zwane E. M. 2019). Two of the largest emitters of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the mobility (14% of global GHG emissions in 2018) and energy (34%) sector (Lamb et al. 2021), which require a major shift towards renewable energy and alternative fuel systems to succesfully contribute to GHG emission goals (O’Neill et al. 2018). However, this transition comes with its own set of challenges, in particular an increased resource intensity, its dependence on critical minerals and metals, as well as sustainability challenges in the technologies’ supply chains (Mancini & Nuss 2020, Wang et al. 2020). These challenges highlight the need for more sustainable resource management from mining, to consumption, to reuse and recycling, and progress towards a clean and circular economy (Smol et al. 2020).

Analysis of different polypropylene waste bales – evaluation of the source material for polypropylene recycling
© Lehrstuhl fĂĽr Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2022)
In 2020 Polypropylene (PP) accounted for almost 20% of the plastic consumption in Europe, making it the second most used plastic (Plastics Europe 2021). Due to the high volume of PP used as packaging material (Plastics Europe 2021), large amounts of PP waste are generated every year. Therefore, mechanical recycling of PP waste is a crucial step towards a circular economy. Although there are already some well-established recycling techniques, the lower quality of recyclates compared to virgin materials still poses an obstacle for their use in more demanding applications. Improvements of every step of the whole recycling value chain could solve this problem, with proper and more accurate sorting techniques being particularly crucial.

Mechanical short-term and long-term properties of PP recyclate blends
© Lehrstuhl fĂĽr Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2022)
The amount of recycled material in new products should be increased in the next few years. By adding virgin material, the mechanical properties of the pure recyclate can be improved. In this work, 10 % and 40 % post-consumer recyclate was added to a virgin material and analyzed. Both raw materials were also tested. The short-term as well as the long-term properties decrease with increasing recyclate content. The recyclate has a higher influence on the young’s modulus, yield stress and slow crack growth resistance than on the notched impact toughness.

Fundamental drying experiments with processed residual municipal solid waste materials
© Lehrstuhl fĂĽr Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2022)
Waste management companies and municipalities in southwestern Hungary aim the fulfillment of the EU’s target, namely to decrease landfilling below 10 % and increase recycling above 65 % of municipal solid wastes. However selective collection is continuously improved there is still high amount of residual MSW is generated. A new mechanical RMSW processing plant (20 t/h) and an experimental RDF pyrolysis plant (200 kg/h) had been built (Faitli et al. 2020) and now extensive research is being carried out to solve the local utilization of the bio-fraction and the RDF. This is the reason why this fundamental drying research was necessary. Dryer classification and the selection of the best solid waste drying techniques vary significantly due to the vast range of waste to be dried and the inherent challenges of dealing with non-standardized systems. In general, biomass dryers may be categorized according to their heat transmission technique and the physical qualities of wet particles.

The AHOY-Project: Waste Wood Sorting with X-ray Technology
© Lehrstuhl fĂĽr Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2022)
Waste wood is a valuable resource, but is hardly recycled despite increasing demand, predicted supply gaps (Mantau et al. 2010), and galloping wood prices since 2020 (Trading Economics 2022). In Germany alone around 10 million tons of waste wood accumulated in 2016. Only a minor part (1.7 million tons) is substantially reused in the production of chipboards. The majority (7.7 million tons) is fed into energy recovery, i.e., burned in one of the 80 German waste wood power plants (BMUV 2021), and is thus lost, while the supply of fresh wood is limited by slow growth cycles and finite acreage. In view of current environmental regulations, climate change and massive tree mortality, waste wood should be kept permanently in the circular economy as a high-quality raw material in the future.

Tex2Mat: Recycling of industrial PA textiles to fibres and injection moulded parts
© Lehrstuhl fĂĽr Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2020)
The project Tex2Mat is a cooperation of several manufacturing companies and uni-versities. In the course of the project two waste streams from textile companies were analysed, one was textiles made from a mixture of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and cotton and the second one was a mixture of polyamides (PA). In this subproject regarding the PA the following members were selected in a way that all processing steps were represented along the complete value chain. The main objective the project was to analyse the whole value chain from the loom to collecting the waste, the recycling process and the production of the original product or other technical demanding products.

Residual municipal waste composition analysis – New methods for Czech waste management
© Lehrstuhl fĂĽr Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2020)
Relevant information about MW composition and proper forecasting of MW composition is crucial for relevant technical and economical modelling and business planning in the field of waste management. These include techno-economical models of MW treatment units, e.g. sorting line, transfer station, energy recovery, waste collection and transport or a regional waste collection and treatment system modelling (Kropáč et al. 2018) and complex business models concerning specific investments in waste management. In this context, there is a project under the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic.

Environmental effects of fireworks with special consideration of plastic emissions
© Lehrstuhl fĂĽr Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2020)
In Germany, about 133 million Euro are spent annually for New Year’s Eve fireworks, which result in 38,000 to 49,000 Mg of total firework mass. By a com-bination of desk research with official fireworks approval statistics, a customer survey, dismantling experiments with fireworks debris and with packaging characterisation, the total nationwide polymer emission was estimated to be 3,088 Mg. Out of this total mass, a projected polymer debris mass of 534 Mg was identified, and about 270 Mg of polymer packaging material. The remaining 2283 Mg of polymer mass are parts that eventually may remain at the launching site.

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