Resources from Waste - Green Technology Opportunities

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Invited talk


Exploiting the opportunity to recover value from waste materials is becoming a well-defined business opportunity. Waste management has become a process based function which incorporates collection and transport of materials, sorting and separating prior to treatment to target specific material properties. The feed stock for many new chemical production processes has moved beyond simple energy recovery to the specification of new materials. Many valuable elements and novel molecules can be recovered or synthesised as processes are “designed” through “green technologies”. Fundamental issues still exist in the recovery processes which are challenging to provide consistent supplies of materials. Downstream processing of recyclates and the efficient recovery of valuable product will continue to challenge large scale operations. One area of particular focus is on the recovery of critical elements from waste electronic and electrical equipment. A new COST action ES1407 (ReCreew) [1] has initiated a review of the opportunities to identify and recover rare earths and other critical elements. Pre-treatment and advanced refining processes are of particular interest. Biotechnological approaches are being highlighted as alternatives to the high energy consumption of more conventional metal refining steps. What are the opportunities for molecular approaches and the challenge of introducing new materials such as ionic-liquid based systems to improve the performance of recovery systems? Scale up and registration of the processes and their efficient and effective application will create the next challenge for chemical processing. Is there an opportunity to innovate or will regulation prove too inhibiting?
Period20 Apr 2016
Event titleAdvances on Green Technolgies COST Action CM1206 Meeting
Event typeConference
LocationPoznan, PolandShow on map


  • waste management
  • critical materials
  • risk assessment
  • biorefinery
  • life cycle analysis