An Exergy workshop – A Sustainable Transition: From a Linear to Circular Economy

At Warwick University, On October 9th, 2019, Exergy hosted a 3-hour afternoon workshop titled, ‘A Sustainable Transition: From a Linear to Circular Economy’.

By gathering circular economy innovators and pioneers, the aim of the event was to encourage sustainable attitudes amongst consumers and current initiatives that promote circular business models within the UK. The event proved to be very successful, with around 60 people in attendance. A total of 8 speakers (Oakdene Hollins, Microcab, Chip[S]board,, Aldstone, Rype, Circular Economy Research Network, and Exergy) discussed the ways in which they have refined and implemented the concept of circular economy. These entrepreneurs and circular economy experts demonstrated their way of revolutionizing the traditional linear, unsustainable economic model within the UK. presents their circular processes of electrical waste presents their circular processes of electrical waste refurbishment.

Rethinking the current economy model

A key theme throughout the event was the increasing popularity and public acceptance of circular economy products and processes. For example, student-formed Chip[S]board presented their creative method of turning potato waste into a viable alternative to plastic and discussed growing product interest, particularly from the fashion industry. Following speakers then discussed topics surrounding the re-design of offices to reduce furniture waste, remodeling of electronics business models and the opportunity for zero-emission transport through an innovative hydrogen vehicle. Fernando Centeno, of Exergy, discussed our innovative approach to circular engineering, including the successful AgriMax project: A Horizon 2020 success story demonstrating the commercial feasibility of extracting high value compounds from agricultural waste. Additionally, using our Aiana Verde project as an example, Exergy demonstrated the need for (and practicalities of) embedding circularity into all aspects of everyday life. 

The presentations provided an exciting glimpse into the possible future of circular economy within UK business, yet underlined challenges surrounding the scale-up of technologies, maintaining cost-effectiveness and technology integration into common consumer behaviour. Despite this, discussions were incredibly positive and highlighted the need for consistent collaboration amongst circular innovators. The audience had the opportunity to gain inspiration through sharing their own ideas, businesses and technical challenges – both during the presentations and in the post-event networking opportunity.

Rype presents their solutions for circular offices
Rype presents their solutions for circular offices.

Exergy would like to thank all partners involved for an all-round successful event – for sharing their passion and motivation and for making this initiative possible. Collaborative events are vital in the drive towards the revitilisation of current, linear business models within the UK.

Closing loops in the circular economy: Recovery of an extended range of high-tech materials under research

There are a massive amount of electronic devices going onto the market today. Nearly 60 million televisions were sold in Europe last year alone. Sooner or later these devices will return as electronics waste. In the past years, the recycling industry has developed to recover many metals such as ferrometals, copper, aluminum, precious metals, along with some selected plastics from these devices, but currently ignores many other important materials. The recently launched €5.9million project, CloseWEEE, will facilitate recovery and re-use of these materials and ensure the electronics manufacturing and recycling industry plays a key role in the drive towards a circular economy.

The project brings together experts from across Europe. Disassembling of electronic devices will be facilitated through the development of an online Recycler Information Center by iFixit in cooperation with the D.R.Z – Dismantling and Recycling-Centre. Sound disassembly guides will be provided to assist workers on the disassembly line to dismantle electronic devices rapidly. Reusing of previously under-recovered high grade polymers, such as PC/ABS, and antimony compounds used as flame retardants, from electronics waste without the usual problematic quality compromises will be investigated by major TV manufacturer, TP Vision. Recycling of batteries for recovery of graphite and other materials will be addressed by recycling experts, Accurec through development of advanced staged recycling processes.

As part of the project, Exergy Ltd. will undertake industrial scale-up of the developed processes and facilitate future commercialisation of the developments in collaboration with the other project partners.
To read the full article follow the link: Closing loops in the circular economy: Recovery of an extended range of high-tech materials under research