Euro 1.4 million for research project on “Contribution of material cascade utilization to sustainable resource management”
A car tire at first, in a second life maybe an insulating board or the sole of a shoe, then floor covering in a third life – if a raw material made from crude oil, which to this day remains the main constituent of car tires, is used several times and in multiple stages it is called “cascade use”.
This will be the focus of a new junior research group at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, which is led by Dr.-Ing. Alexandra Pehlken and will commence work in the coming days.
The interdisciplinary junior research group is called “Contribution of material cascade utilization to sustainable resource management” or short “Cascade Use” and will be sponsored by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)’s “Global Change” programme with nearly Euro 1.4 million over a period of four years, with the possibility of adding another year if necessary.
The research group is part of the School of Computing Science, Business Administration, Economics and Law of the University of Oldenburg and consists of five co-workers. In addition to the project leader and adjunct, the group will give three doctoral students the opportunity to do research and obtain their doctorates.
One of the junior scientists is from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. “Through our close cooperation with the Chinese university we will be able to gain valuable impulses”, Pehlken asserts. “We are going to collaborate with Professor Chen Ming, one of the most well-known Chinese recycling experts. Among other things, analyses of this exploding market in Asia will very much enhance our research. Moreover, we hope that together we can contribute to increasing the acceptance of recycling in China.”
The aim of the “Cascade Use” research is to utilize raw materials within the economic cycle for as long as possible and thus protect the environment. “This not only offers ecological benefits, but also very large and so far mostly untapped economic potentials” says Pehlken.
The group deals with the question of how materials are integrated into product life cycles and when they become available for reuse or remanufacturing.
With this issue in mind, the group develops a tool to assist decision-makers in economics, administration and politics in recognizing and evaluating the potentials for optimal resource use with the least possible environmental impacts. To do so, the scientists employ material flow analyses with reference to technological, ecological and economic aspects. Developing a method for estimating the life cycle-spanning material availability, they also, for example, determine the CO2 emissions within the recycling hierarchy.
The group particularly focuses on primary resources, such as iron, copper, aluminium and magnesium, as well as on the valuable and often critical rare earth metals. These include europium, which is needed for fluorescent lamps and plasma screens, and neodymium, which is part of the strong, small permanent magnets, high performance microphones, high-efficiency speakers, wind power turbines and high performance electric motors. Hardly any of today’s key technologies could function without the use of rare earth elements.
About Alexandra Pehlken:
Alexandra Pehlken (42) studied mining at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen) where she also gained her doctorate as engineer in 2002. The scientist, who was born in Oldenburg, has carried out research in Germany,, South Africa and China. Furthermore, a Lise-Meitner-Scholarship brought her to the ‘Natural Resources Canada’ Institute in Ottawa (Canada), where she dealt with the recycling of used car tires. Pehlken also led several research projects, for example, a project on feed production at the ‘Institute for Integrated Product Development’ (BIK) at the University of Bremen. Since 2012, the engineer has been working as a project leader in the field of energy and society at the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research (COAST) of the University of Oldenburg. Besides, she is involved in national and international panels. In 2011, Pehlken was appointed Associated Junior Fellow at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Delmenhorst (HWK).
Contact: Dr.-Ing. Alexandra Pehlken, COAST- Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research (COAST), Tel. 0441/798-4796, E-Mail: email@example.com
Dr. Corinna Dahm-Brey | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Success at leading conference on silicon materials science and technology in Japan
13.12.2018 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik
13.11.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.
Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
17.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.12.2018 | Architecture and Construction
17.12.2018 | Life Sciences