Track: B

Date: 30.08.2018

Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Room: Checkpoint Charlie

Session 15: Pathways towards a Circular Economy

Presenter: Georgios Archimidis Tsalidis, Technical University of Delft

Co-Authors: Gijsbert Korevaar

The Dutch government and the European Union promote circular economy to ensure sustainable growth and use of resources. Furthermore, European Union has identified critical raw materials which are a priority in the circular economy package. Port of Rotterdam is a first-rate base for circular economy due to its chemical industry accommodation and large materials and waste flows. Therefore, the Zero Brine project aims to evaluate the benefits of circular economy and industrial symbiosis in the chemical industrial cluster in the port via the life cycle assessment and provide perspective in this early stage of technology development. A wastewater treatment plant that processes lake water and high purity salt in order to produce ultra-pure demineralized water and distribute it to local industries is selected as case study. The circular economy principles and zero liquid discharge technology are applied in order to promote industrial symbiosis and recover critical raw materials by redesigning the plant’s treatment train. The current and redesigned systems are evaluated for their global warming potential, marine aquatic toxicity, and total performance. The redesigned wastewater treatment plant results in a better performance, global warming potential, marine aquatic toxicity and total performance are reduced by 5%, 11% and 3.5%, respectively. The main contributor to these results is the Dutch electricity system as most processes at the plant require electricity rather than waste heat. Our results suggest that applying the zero liquid discharge technology is promising for improving the environmental performance of wastewater treatment industry and using more zero-emission technologies at the Dutch electricity system will result in significant benefits.

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Presenter: Romain Ferrari, Fondation 2019

Co-Authors: Hélène Teulon

The French government launched in late 2017 a broad public consultancy on the circular economy, with the objective of publishing its Road Map for the Circular Economy in spring 2018. The consultancy was organized as follows:
• a pilot committee gathering stakeholders for territories, companies, sectors, NGOs, Social and Inclusive Economy, eco-organisms…
• 4 workgroups focused on key issues: territories, plastics, sustainable consumption/production, economic tools
• A wide public consultation on the web, in two rounds…
The presentation will share the content of work achieved during this political process, and put it in perspective with the content of final Road map published in April by the French government.
The paper will particularly detail innovative solutions imagined during the process, whether or not these are stated in the formal Road map.
Besides, the presentation will focus on economic levers that might be activated to accelerate the emergence of a circular economy:
• Taxation of fossils at extraction and not at combustion
• Circular Added Value Tax
• Life Cycle Costing (LCC) strategy in public procurement
• Adaptation of landfill tax and incineration tax to make circular options more competitive.
Within the framework of the French Circular Economy roadmap, an additional work package regarding EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) was launched: should it be extended to other products? How to better organize ERP mechanism? How to ensure that it fosters eco-design? How to define reasonable targets for collection? Which should be the penalties? What should be the role of the State? The presentation will share the result of this work package, the so-called “Rapport Vernier”
Such an update on the French situation might be of interest for all participants from other countries.

Grosse François. 2010.“Is recycling “part of the solution” ? The role of recycling in an expanding society and a world of finite resources. S.A.P.I.E.N.S [Online], 3 (1). URL :

Johan Albrecht. 2006. “The use of consumption taxes to re-launch green tax reforms”. International review of Law and Economics. 26 (1) : 88–103

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Presenter: Michael Dieterle, Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT

In the context of an ongoing global discussion of sustainable development, Circular Economy and Digitalization can be understood as two of the most important issues to meet this challenge. This will also affect the way we conduct and interpret LCA results.

On the one hand, Digitalization of industrial processes, which is popularized by concepts such as Industrie 4.0 and Industrial Internet, will systematically lead to high-volumes of real time data on products energy and material flows along the entire value chain, from cradle to gate. With an adjusted use of these data, it is conceivable that the efforts for data collection and validation within the inventory analysis phase can be reduced.

On the other hand, Circular Economies require the closing of material cycles, upcycling rather than downcycling, and increased responsibility of producers for the end of life of their products. This challenges not only the predominant linear business approach but also the way we interpret LCA studies. With the implementation of the life cycle gap analysis (LCG-A) as an additional means of interpretation and decision support of the final LCA results, the potential environmental impact on Circular Economy and the closing of material cycles can be pointed out.

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Presenter: René Itten, Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Co-Authors: Matthias Stucki, Karen Muir

There is a plethora of wastes and by-products that remain unused in the traditional linear industrial system. The aim of a circular economy is to transform these unused wastes into usable resources. This transformation from a linear to a circular system is challenging due the limited knowledge on possibilities for the reuse of such waste products. In addition, the actual reuse is hindered by several constraints such as lacking information on the specific composition of the unused waste, on the availability of the unused waste in time and space as well as on the quantity of unused waste. The goal of the SHAREBOX Horizon 2020 project is the use information and communications technology for the development of a platform for the facilitation of circular approaches for material and waste flows within the European processing industries.
The SHAREBOX platform is a database of available waste and resources required by companies. The matching of supply and demand by the platform enables the transformation of waste to resources. The platform also serves as the first point of contact between different partners in a circular system. Furthermore, the platform enables the identification of new synergies between the different subsectors of the industries as well as optimal matching from the perspective of a circular economy.
We analysed the life cycle based impacts and benefits the transformation of different waste types to usable resources including relevant life cycle steps as beneficiation and transportation. The analysis for greenhouse gases, primary energy demand and mineral resource use revealed that the environmental benefit of transformation from waste to resources strongly depends on the reused material type as well as crucial properties like density of the material and geographic proximity of the partners of the synergy. However, the relative benefits were higher for the mineral resource compared to greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy demand, mainly due to the energy requirement in the steps beneficiation and transportation.
Transformation from linear systems to circular systems can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions; primary energy demand as well as mineral resource use of the whole value chain and contribute to a greener economy. However, the reuse of resources also cause additional impacts in the life cycle stage of beneficiation as well as transportation, especially for primary energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, the completeness of the scope is crucial for the assessment and generalisations overarching different types of waste remain challenging.

  1. Laybourn, P. Industrial Symbiosis – Delivering Resource Efficiency and Green Growth 2015.
  2. Jensen, P. D.; Basson, L.; Hellawell, E. E.; Bailey, M. R.; Leach, M. Quantifying ‘geographic proximity’: Experiences from the United Kingdom’s National Industrial Symbiosis Programme. Resour. Conserv. Recycl. 2011, 55, 703–712, doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2011.02.003.
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