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Development of flexible pyrolysis-catalysis processing of waste plastics for selective production of high value products through research and innovation (FLEXI-PYROCAT)
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This Research and Innovation Staff Exchange project aims to develop and maintain long term collaborations between Universities in the EU with China and Australia. This collaboration will build a truly world-leading group through 140 person months of structured staff exchanges involving 38 individual researchers to innovate next generation advanced thermal processing of wastes. The research innovation unites the researchers with a common goal to advance waste pyrolysis technology by introduction of novel catalysts to produce an innovative two-stage pyrolysis-catalytic process and to exploit that technology. The technology allows flexible processing of waste plastics to selectively target and produce high value products - (i) hydrogen, (ii) carbon nanotubes, (iii) chemicals or (iv) gasoline. Our partners in China have expertise in novel advanced thermal processing of wastes developed to pilot and demonstration scale. Our Australian partner has expertise in emerging catalytic technologies coupled with green chemical processes. The staff exchanges will provide outstanding knowledge transfer and career development for the experienced and early stage researchers.The project targets 25 million tonnes of waste plastics generated in the EU each year, which can through research and innovation be turned from a waste problem into a valuable resource for high value products. The project showcases to the public a high profile example of ‘waste as a resource’.This project will provide an innovative and economic recycling technology concept for European municipalities, waste management companies and SME’s. The EU partners plan exploitation of the technology through spin-out companies and industrial partnerships. Also, the input of advanced technologies into the traditionally low technology waste processing industry will provide the opportunity to up-skill the existing workforce and showcase an attractive career path for professional engineers, scientists & technologists.We propose an Amendment to the Grant Agreement by extending the research and innovation to include biomass waste as an additional feedstock. Biomass waste is a major waste source in the EU presenting non-food crop biomass such as, urban waste wood, forestry residues, agricultural residues and the biomass portion of municipal solid waste (paper/cardboard). Extending the project to include biomass wastes further maximises the proposed flexibility of the technology.Also mixing waste plastics and biomass wastes advances the current state-of-the-art of knowledge in high value product production from waste materials since there is very little research in the area in regard to the production of (i) hydrogen (ii) carbon nanotubes (iii) chemicals or (iv) gasoline
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