The PolynSPIRE General Assembly took place on 9 and 10 November in Udine, Italy. The event welcomed representatives from each of the 21 member organisations of the consortium, who actively participated by providing inputs on the goals achieved after more than 4 years of intense work and lively cooperation among partners.
As part of the review of the activities run in the context of Work Package 6 on the valorisation of plastics in the steel sector, the event started with a demo site visit of the FENO facilities and an introductory overview by Filippo Cirilli (RINA) in regard to the roles and contributions of the partners involved in the work package, the technical highlights, and the scientific and industrial breakthrough potentials of the results that have been obtained.
The meeting continued with a review of the content of the other work packages, starting from a general outline of the project management and coordination (WP1) by Marina Cárdenas, Project Manager at CIRCE. As the project is successfully coming to an end in February 2023, the last deliverables left for the completion of the PolynSPIRE mission are expected to be submitted in the upcoming weeks.
Carlos González (CIRCE) provided his contribution in regard to WP2 – Demo cases specification and integration, the overall objective of which consisted in the establishment of a reference working framework in order to create an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) methodology to assure the proper information flow between all the working teams and identifying the expected inputs and outputs for each task in terms of quality, quantity and timing.
The overview of the project’s achievement continued with Marcel Mallah (FM), who focused on WP3 - Chemical recycling using microwaves, aimed at developing and testing an innovative route for chemical recycling based on the integration of microwaves to improve the efficiency of the system and which can be considered, at this stage, almost entirely completed.
The updates on the developments regarding WP4 were provided by Katarina Babić (IONIQA), who explained the work carried out by the partners for the purpose of developing and testing an innovative route for chemical recycling based on the use and further recovery of smart magnetic materials (SMM) as catalysers to improve the efficiency of the process.
The meeting continued with Alberto Frisa’s and David Martinez’s (CIRCE) presentation, which revolved around the progresses of WP 8, focused on the design of a methodology to address and optimise the environmental performance of the recycling scheme taking into account the whole value chain for the targeted waste streams. The speakers provided an overview of the next steps to be taken towards the conclusion of the last tasks (i.e. new technologies characterisation and evaluation through LCA/LCC/TE and multicriteria optimisation and extrapolation using neural networks) thanking the partners, whose valuable contributions have represented a conditio sine qua non for the successful completion of the work.
Ana Camille Villafaña (CIRCE) presented the progresses made towards the conclusion WP 9 on the exploitation and commercialisation of all the knowledge and technical results obtained from the execution of the previous WPs to pave the way for market uptake of PolynSPIRE solutions for the targeted polymers along the value chain stakeholders and around Europe. During the discussion, the partners took the important decision of focusing the KERs resulting from the project exclusively on the numerous technologies and processes developed by the consortium in the context of the project.
The overview of the WPs continued with Marjan Ranogajec’s (EuPC) input, who provided a complete overview of the activities carried out by the partners in the context of WP 10 on communication and dissemination activities. As one of the latest communication activities, a video was realised at the RINA’s and FENO’s facilities with the purpose of highlighting the results achieved in the context of WP6. The video is available at this link.
The last contribution for the first day of the General Assembly focused on the results achieved within WP7. The inputs were provided by Berna Oruc (KORDSA), Silvia Catalán (NUREL), Susana García (REPSOL), Tiziana Milizia (NOVAMONT) who discussed, respectively, some pivotal steps of the PolynSPIRE project namely, the validation at industrial level of Polyamide monomers (T 7.1), Polyurethane monomers (T 7.2) and monomers as raw material for biobased polymers (T 7.3).
The second day of the General Assembly revolved around the standardisation workshop, a lively exchange led by Signe Bøgh, Jesper Lauridsen and Charlotte Vincentz (DS) during which the participants could learn more about the two fundamental standards in the framework of the PolynSPIRE’s mission: EN 15343 Plastic recycling traceability and assessment of conformity and recycled content and DIN SPEC 91446 Classification of recycled plastics based on Data Quality Levels for use and (digital) trading. The attendees were divided into two groups and the outcome of the productive discussions will represent the baseline for the completion of task 9.5 on IPR Management and exploitation strategy of new processes and technologies.
With the forthcoming conclusion of the project, the Polynspire partners can undoubtedly be proud to have successfully contributed to the pivotal mission of boosting the circular economy in Europe, during more than 4 years of work and productive cooperation in which the development of groundbreaking and innovative technologies towards the achievement of a more efficient and sustainable plastic recycling dominated the overall mission of the consortium.