Australian scientist aims to solve recycling crisis with ‘green steel’ technology

An Australian professor has developed a new green technology that turns waste products into flat, ceramic building tiles and plastic filament.

Veena Sahajwalla, director at the UNSW Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology, says that she plans to use the technology she developed to counter Australia’s current recycling crisis.

Currently, millions of kilograms of waste wind up in landfill and waste plants around the country. The automotive industry has a particularly concerning problem, with old tyres causing serious environmental damage when thrown away.

But with this green recycling process, not only will the amount of waste produced in Australia be reduced, but it will create a new circular economy where materials are kept in production for numerous lifecycles.

“We can take almost all waste plastic and turn it into a new, highly valuable commodity, 3D plastic filament, which is now mostly imported from overseas,” said creator Veena Sahajwalla.

“We can deploy this Micro-factory TM technology in rural and regional areas where waste is stockpiled and bring local industries and councils together to create new solutions.”

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) have recently agreed to implement a timeline to ban the export of waste, and instead build an economy for Australia to generate high value recycled commodities.

Sahajwalla believes her technology is ready to help the COAG on a large scale.

“I can’t help thinking that scientifically developed methods such as our Microfactory TM technology is ready to go from lab scale to commercial scale to accelerate the COAG goals.

“Importantly, this type of micro-recycling science not only addresses the waste and environmental issues, but creates a whole new circular economy where materials are kept in use for as long as possible and can help local manufacturers create new products and items from reformed waste.”

Original source: Wide Format Online | Turn waste plastic into 3D filament, says Australian inventor

22 Aug 2019