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Plastic waste as a circular carbon feedstock for industry (Processes4Planet Partnership) (IA)


Plastic (and other) waste, such as packaging, textiles, etc., could potentially represent a sustainable alternative to imported fossil feedstock (e.g. oil, gas). It contains high amounts of carbon, it is widely available and its valorisation could also provide environmental and societal benefits avoiding the disposal in landfill.

The proposals submitted under this topic are expected to provide concepts for utilisation of unsorted plastic (and other) waste in cracking applications, including e.g. packaging, non-sorted polymers and single use items such as PPEs, for the production of material streams of wide industrial interest (e.g. hydrocarbons, olefins, syngas, hydrogen, etc.). The technologies proposed should be electrified to work efficiently in a renewable based energy system. They should also be able to cope with potential fluctuations in energy supply.

  • The technologies proposed should be able to valorise a wide variety of unsorted waste, plastic could be a major source, other waste sources can be considered (e.g. textiles), providing the supply is secure and the business case is feasible. Special attention is required to the potential variability of the input, and the presence/formation of contaminants and impurities in the process;
  • The processes addressed can be single or multi-step (e.g. pre-treatment, grinding, etc.) and should yield material streams which are of high industrial interest and can be readily integrated in downstream industrial processes for the production of a wide range of products (e.g. plastics, chemicals, hydrogen, fuels, fibres, materials, fertilisers, etc.);
  • Industrial specifications should be considered, and proof that these secondary raw material streams can be used in downstream industries should be provided;
  • Demonstration of the improved environmental footprint of the proposed products and processes, as well as their positive impact should be provided using relevant methodologies (e.g. LCA, LCSA, etc.). The prevention of upcycling of hazardous substances and their separation and disposal should be considered;
  • Elements related to the replicability and scalability of the technology should be provided. Along with the relevance of the proposed approaches to solving waste related issues in existing European contexts;
  • Demonstration of the proposed concepts in an industrially relevant environment and at an appropriate scale are expected. The integration of the proposed technology in existing value chains and industrial realities would be an added value.
  • Proposals should consider the co-design of learning resources together with local and regional educational organisations for current and future generations of employees, with the possibility of integrating them in existing curricula and modules for undergraduate level and lifelong learning programmes. Learning resources should integrate the identification of new skills and should propose innovative learning-teaching methods that meet regional social needs and have a high potential for replication.

Proposals submitted under this topic should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the introduction to this Destination.

In order to achieve the expected outcomes, International Cooperation is encouraged, in particular with Japan, Korea, India or ASEAN countries.

This topic implements the co-programmed European partnership Processes4Planet.