INDUSTRIAL SYMBIOSIS

What is waste to some may be useful raw material or energy source for the others. This partnership focuses on closing materials loops and opening new opportunities.

Industrial symbiosis represents relations between two or more companies exchanging waste, side products, wastewater and energy in order to reuse it. By doing so we can exploit materials and energy more efficiently, improve environmental and economic efficiency within partnership, as well as society as a whole.

In the scope of CEL.CYCLE programme, such industrial symbiosis can be found between paper producers and construction materials producers: sludge and ash, residuals from sludge incineration, can be used as additives to mortar, concrete or asphalt, as they can, when properly pre-processed, improve their mechanical characteristics. Paper sludge can also improve materials used for clay products; it is known they enable better modelling and drying and provide for better thermo-insulation properties in end products because of the porosity that occurs at places where paper sludge fibres are burnt away.

 

Closing materials loops – cradle to cradle concept

Efficient resource management has become THE strategic challenge successful companies and economies are facing. It is also one of EU's priorities. One way to achieve this goal is by asserting the principles of zero-waste-economy: closed materials loops or cradle to cradle concept.

This concept simultaneously addresses both economic and environmental challenges. It suggests new ways of product/services design by following and mimicking processes occurring in nature: nature knows no waste, uses mainly solar energy and is well adapted to local environment. Guiding principle of closed materials loops is, that each waste is someone’s food. Merged with other guidelines it also forces all involved stakeholders to change their view on products, services and new business models.

Cradle to cradle concept can prove to be attractive for businesses in regards to cost optimisation, achieving competitive advantage and creating new market niches. Businesses are able to significantly strengthen their strategic position, modify their business models and optimise costs. In the long term, they can ensure coherence and compatibility with ever-stricter environmental demands.

Therefore, start with environmental friendliness of products as early as product design. Then, at the end of their lifecycle, return them into production cycle to create new ones.

WHY THE PROGRAMME »POTENTIAL OF BIOMASS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF ADVANCED MATERIALS AND BIO-BASED PRODUCTS«

We are determined to acquire a comprehensive insight into »discarded potential of biomass«, to research all aspects and benefits of cascading utilisation of this locally available, natural and renewable resource, left unexploited to this day. Partners, allied through research-development-production form of circular economy, plan to develop and optimise new, sustainable processes and technologies to help us dig the way through to useful biomass components. Those can prove beneficial in various production sectors – from chemical, textile, paper, timber and automotive industries, construction and energy engineering – integrated as environmentally acceptable materials and products, highly degradable and re-usable. That way we are building new value chains, we are allowing ourselves to step firmly onto green products market, we are strengthening competitiveness of Slovenian economy, firming social partnerships and, at the same time, burden environment significantly less..