LIFE Project Cover Photo

REcovery of POLYurethane for reUSE in eco-efficient materials

Reference: LIFE16 ENV/ES/000254 | Acronym: LIFE REPOLYUSE

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

More than 3.5 million tonnes of polyurethane are used in Europe each year. This generates some 675 000 tonnes/year of polyurethane waste. The vast majority (68%) of this waste material goes to landfill. Reusing more of it could reduce overall energy use and environmental impacts, as well as leading to lower costs and improved production cycles. In the construction sector, polyurethane waste can replace gypsum used in insulation material, saving energy and water as well as reducing the amount of gypsum that needs to be quarried (currently some 1 million tonnes/year).


OBJECTIVES

The LIFE REPOLYUSE project’s main objective is to increase the reuse of polyurethane waste that is currently managed as inert waste or is recovered through techniques that are not environmentally sustainable. Using a new technology, it will integrate polyurethane waste into new building materials, thus extending its life-cycle.

REPOLYUSE technology will allow a reduction in the use of natural resources and ensure that more energy is embedded in the material. In particular, the project will:

  • Reduce the negative environmental impacts associated with landfilling of polyurethane waste (i.e. visual impact, emissions of volatile particles, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by transport from origin to landfill);
  • Reduce the environmental impacts associated with incineration techniques (lowering emissions of dioxins, fine particles and other air pollutants);
  • Reduce the use of gypsum, with a subsequent reduction of CO2 emissions in the manufacturing process; and
  • Improve energy efficiency when building with the new REPOLYUSE materials, resulting in lower CO2 emissions.
  • The project will contribute to achieving the objectives of the EU’s ‘Roadmap to a resource efficient Europe’ and Circular Economy Action Plan.

    Expected results:

  • A 10% reduction in pollutants emitted into the atmosphere;
  • The new material will save around 135 kWh/energy in production, which equates to a reduction of at least 20% in CO2 emitted into the atmosphere;
  • A 34% reduction in the use of gypsum for insulating panels;
  • A 30% reduction in energy consumption in the building process;
  • A 17% reduction in water consumption in the building process;
  • An 18% reduction in manufacturing costs compared with existing products on the market;
  • A reduction in the amount of polyurethane foam waste sent to landfill; and
  • Savings of €60 per tonne in waste treatment costs for the companies generating the polyurethane waste.

  • ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


    Reference: LIFE16 ENV/ES/000254
    Acronym: LIFE REPOLYUSE
    Start Date: 01/10/2017
    End Date: 31/12/2020
    Total Budget: 1,289,434 €
    EU Contribution: 773,660 €
    Project Location:

    CONTACT DETAILS


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Universidad de Burgos
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: Hospital de Rey, 09001, Burgos, España
    Contact Person: Yolanda Gil
    Email: ygil@ubu.es
    Tel: 34947258052
    Website: http://ubu.es


    LIFE Project Map

    ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

    THEMES

    • Plastic - Rubber -Tyre
    • Waste recycling

    KEYWORDS

    • waste recycling
    • building material
    • plastic
    • landfill
    • resource conservation

    TARGET EU LEGISLATION

    • Directive 1999/31 - Landfill of waste (26.04.1999)
    • Directive 2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.2008)
    • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)

    BENEFICIARIES

    Name Type
    Universidad de Burgos Coordinator
    Vías y Construcciones, Spain Participant
    Exergy Ltd, United Kingdom Participant
    Yesyforma Europa, S.L., Spain Participant

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