In the circular economy, feedstock is precious. That's why waste processors, material producers, governments and producers are looking for efficient solutions to recycle materials from consumer waste. Waste contains a wealth of valuable materials that are suitable for high-quality reuse: from baby diapers and jeans to bioplastics. As a result, companies can derive more value from their waste streams and the circular economy comes one step closer.
Waste: feedstock for high-quality materials
Waste processors are looking for efficient methods to unlock valuable components in waste, such as plastis, textiles and cellulose, for high-quality reuse. Producers of consumer products want to reduce their ecological footprint and investigate how they can make new materials from waste. And for governments, the circular processing of waste is an opportunity to strengthen their circular ambitions.
Research into the reuse of waste
Our research usually starts with an analysis of valuable components in a waste stream. Thanks to our decades of experience in research on material properties, we have an excellent picture of the functional properties that recyclates from waste streams have to meet in order to be processed at high quality. In order to be able to reuse some waste streams that are difficult to reuse, we use (bio)chemical recycling in addition to mechanical recycling. We also have in-depth knowledge of the necessary separation, purification and fractionation technologies.
We have in-house lab facilities for this, and have the plant and demo-scale research facilities to simulate recycling processes and test new recycling processes.
Wageningen Food & Biobased Research investigates what is technically feasible and looks at the organisational, economic and environmental implications. For example, we investigate how to form robust chains and look at the quality in relation to the demand for raw materials.
In various projects we contribute to the high-quality processing of valuable components from waste. For example, we have mapped out the chains of Dutch post-consumer waste and developed a calculation model based on this. This makes it clear to municipalities how much secondary raw materials waste collection has yielded.
Another example is the regional research project Bio2HighTex. Together with partners, we have developed options to use natural fibres and recycled fibres as alternatives to petroleum as a raw material.
Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is happy to enter into dialogue with parties who want to reuse valuable materials from waste as raw materials for new products. Feel free to contact us so that we can explore the possibilities together.