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LIFE REPOLYUSE - REcovery of POLYurethane for reUSE in eco-efficient materials

LIFE16 ENV/ES/000254


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Contact details:

Contact person: Yolanda Gil
Tel: 34947258052
Email: ygil@ubu.es



Project description:

Background

More than 3.5 million tonnes of polyurethane are used in Europe each year. This generates some 675 000 tonnes/year of polyurethane waste. The vast majority (68%) of this waste material goes to landfill. Reusing more of it could reduce overall energy use and environmental impacts, as well as leading to lower costs and improved production cycles. In the construction sector, polyurethane waste can replace gypsum used in insulation material, saving energy and water as well as reducing the amount of gypsum that needs to be quarried (currently some 1 million tonnes/year).


Objectives

The LIFE REPOLYUSE project’s main objective is to increase the reuse of polyurethane waste that is currently managed as inert waste or is recovered through techniques that are not environmentally sustainable. Using a new technology, it will integrate polyurethane waste into new building materials, thus extending its life-cycle.

REPOLYUSE technology will allow a reduction in the use of natural resources and ensure that more energy is embedded in the material. In particular, the project will:

  • Reduce the negative environmental impacts associated with landfilling of polyurethane waste (i.e. visual impact, emissions of volatile particles, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by transport from origin to landfill);
  • Reduce the environmental impacts associated with incineration techniques (lowering emissions of dioxins, fine particles and other air pollutants);
  • Reduce the use of gypsum, with a subsequent reduction of CO2 emissions in the manufacturing process; and
  • Improve energy efficiency when building with the new REPOLYUSE materials, resulting in lower CO2 emissions.
  • The project will contribute to achieving the objectives of the EU’s ‘Roadmap to a resource efficient Europe’ and Circular Economy Action Plan.

    Expected results:

  • A 10% reduction in pollutants emitted into the atmosphere;
  • The new material will save around 135 kWh/energy in production, which equates to a reduction of at least 20% in CO2 emitted into the atmosphere;
  • A 34% reduction in the use of gypsum for insulating panels;
  • A 30% reduction in energy consumption in the building process;
  • A 17% reduction in water consumption in the building process;
  • An 18% reduction in manufacturing costs compared with existing products on the market;
  • A reduction in the amount of polyurethane foam waste sent to landfill; and
  • Savings of €60 per tonne in waste treatment costs for the companies generating the polyurethane waste.


Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Industry-Production - Plastic - Rubber -Tyre
Waste - Waste recycling


Keywords

building material‚  plastic‚  landfill‚  resource conservation‚  waste recycling


Target EU Legislation

  • Waste
  • Directive 1999/31 - Landfill of waste (26.04.1999)
  • Directive 2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.200 ...
  • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Universidad de Burgos
Type of organisation University
Description The Group for Investigation in Building Engineering at the University of Burgos is a team of experienced researchers that focuses on the search for new construction materials based on recycled industrial wastes. The group holds 12 national patents and networks with similar research teams in France, China, India and Poland.
Partners Vías y Construcciones, Spain Yesyforma Europa, S.L., Spain Exergy Ltd, United Kingdom

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Project reference LIFE16 ENV/ES/000254
Duration 01-OCT-2017 to 30-SEP -2020
Total budget 1,289,434.00 €
EU contribution 773,660.00 €
Project location Aragón(España) Castilla-León(España) Castilla-La Mancha(España) Cataluña(España)

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