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Theme 2: Process Integration and Whole System Optimisation

Jigsaw graphic
Process Integration
Life Cycle Assessment infographic shows five elements displayed in a circle, moving from one to the other. The elements are as follows: number one - disposal and recycling, number two - raw material extraction, number three - manufacturing, number four - distribution and finally number five - use.
Life Cycle Assessment
Weighing scales graphic
Social Justice

In this research theme we assess how the catalytic technology innovations for processing of CO2 streams, solid waste and biomass into fresh chemicals can be integrated into existing chemical supply chains. In doing so, we  consider the whole chemical value chains and account for the whole life cycles.  We rely on detailed process models as the workhorse for scaling up catalytic technology at a low readiness level and for predicting the performance at scale of these technologies in terms of economic, environmental and social KPIs. Then, these KPIs feed into the stakeholder and public engagement activities. Major strands of research within this theme entail:

  • assessing the performance of alternative routes to key chemicals (e.g. olefins) from CO2 streams, solid waste and biomass
  • understanding the trade-offs inherent to chemical circularity and guiding the selection of chemical recycling technologies and combination of feedstocks

Current Research Focus

We are currently seeking collaborations from industry and academia in the following areas:

  • Chemical recycling technology providers (e.g., pyrolysis, gasification) to assist with life-cycle assessment, share process data, etc.
  • Large chemical clusters to investigate potential/integration of a range of chemical recycling technologies
  • Quantitative data regarding the flow and fate of sorted/unsorted plastic waste across the UK

Team members: