SS13: Technological innovation, business and finance

Time: Wednesday, 14 October 2015 (8:00 – 9:50)

Location: Schwarzhorn

Session Chair: William Anthony Worrell, San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority, United States of America

Session Chair: Eliette Johana Restrepo Gomez, Empa, Switzerland


The economic, environmental and local employment benefits of remanufacturing (a case study)

Nicolas Schnebelen1, Guillaume Moënne-Loccoz2, Adrian Ronald Tan1

1Ernst & Young (EY), France; 2Neopost Industrie, France

Remanufacturing is one of key approaches in a circular economy. Remanufacturing is the process of restoring a used product to a state that provides at least the same functionality and performance as when it was first produced. This typically involves collection of products at their end-of-life; reverse logistics; inspection; disassembly; cleaning, repairing or replacing parts; reassembling and testing before being sold again. Under the right conditions remanufacturing can prove to be a profitable, more resource efficient and less environmentally harmful approach to doing business. The key factors that determine the economic and environmental benefits of remanufacturing are the product’s design, its residual value, labour costs, the business model, the pricing strategy and the reverse logistics system. These factors are often interdependent and it is a real challenge for companies to find the right balance when setting up a remanufacturing business. This paper presents a case study of how a postal equipment manufacturer, Neopost, established their remanufacturing business by first redesigning their postage (franking) machines; then developing the reverse logistics chain across the commercial organisation by providing financial incentives throughout their supply chain; and, finally, framing the remanufactured product’s price position on the market. The history of how remanufacturing was developed in the company and the steps made to ensure that all the key factors vital to ensure the profitability and environmental benefits of remanufacturing was analysed. The paper also presents the economic, environmental and local employment benefits of remanufacturing compared with a conventional linear business model. This case study provides important lessons to how companies can systematically develop profitable remanufacturing businesses by ensuring all the key factors for success are aligned.


Recovery of Precious Metals from Incineration Bottom Ash

Roland Weippert

LAB GmbH, Switzerland

Incineration bottom ash (IBA), the final solid residues from Energy of Waste Facilities (EfW), holds a huge potential for recovery of valuable metals and a complete reuse of the residual mineral matter. Modern treatment technologies allow for a recovery of lumpy metals to the greatest possible extend and the production of a homogeneous secondary construction material. Over the last two years, LAB Geodur has developed a new approach for IBA treatment: Based on its existing dry treatment process for wet-discharged and matured IBA, known under the name of RecuLAB® NF, a wet processing for fresh IBA has been developed, which allows to directly treat wet-discharged IBA. This process, called RecuLAB® AU, is designed to treat IBA without any upfront storage or maturation. RecuLAB® AU is a modular concept, which can be installed on the premises of an EfW plant or at an existing IBA treatment site. Given the wet processing, both the metal recovery yield as well as the metal qualities are importantly improved. Besides further value creation from additionally recovered metals down to 0.03 mm, a sand-like secondary aggregate is produced, opening up new application possibilities. The mineral fraction additionally benefits from an improved visual appearance and from further reduced contamination. Process water is kept in a closed loop, enabling a residue-free treatment technology. Due to the wet processing, typical dust issues from IBA treatment can be completely solved. With this, not only the mode of operation is simplified, the environmental and working conditions are massively improved, too.


Material stocks and well-being: connecting steel use and services

André Cabrera Serrenho, Julian Allwood

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Recent literature on material flow analysis has been focused on quantitative characterisation of past and prospective material in-use stocks that result from the accumulation of flows over time. These analyses often neglect the quality of those stocks and their capacity to deliver services. We explore how enhanced knowledge on in-use stock performance can be useful to understand the decoupling between services and material throughput. This is accomplished by characterising the size, composition and service delivery of the iron and steel in-use stocks of cars in Great Britain from 2002 to 2012. The results provide evidence of decoupling material use from service delivery and give us insights on the urgent focus of environmental policies aimed at preserving material stocks. In this period the stock mass has increased and transportation service delivery has decreased. The service provided by in-use iron and steel stock has decreased, due to stock aging and a shift in material composition of cars. The promotion of service delivery of old cars is critical in limiting the loss of iron and steel stock performance and may contribute for the lifetime extension.


Moving three industrial parks towards eco-industrial parks in Vietnam

Heinz Leuenberger

UNIDO, Switzerland

Abstract: Moving three industrial parks towards eco-industrial parks in Vietnam Vietnam has undergone rapid economic growth over the last ten years driven mainly by the processing and manufacturing sectors. To facilitate the emergence of new industries, the government has established so-called industrial zones (IZ) with the provision of infrastructure such as utilities, water and effluent treatment. The industrial growth in Vietnam has however brought about adverse impacts on the environment, as well as on human health in neighbouring communities:  By the end of 2013, 92 IZs have failed to construct wastewater treatment plants. The wastewater from some IZs is directly discharged without any treatment;  Air pollution is concentrated in IZs, with enterprises using obsolete technologies or lacking air emission treatment systems; and,  The volume of solid waste increased significantly, 20% of it being hazardous. To tackle these issues, MPI and UNIDO jointly developed a project with the objective to introduce and implement an eco-industrial park (EIP) management system to reduce and/or eliminate greenhouse gasses (GHGs), water consumption, water pollution, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other chemicals of global concern. The system also aims to demonstrate innovative clean and low-carbon technologies and practices in industry. In the presentation, the different project components will more outlined in more detail, and the concept of eco-industrial parks will be subject to further analysis.


Mining of rare earth metals from hydro mineral resources in Siberia: trends and prospects

Olga Ulanova

Irkutsk National Research Technical University, Russian Federation

Siberian scientists showed by their scientific investigations that brines of Siberian Platform are a very important hydro mineral resource for economical development of the East Russia. Prospects for the integrated mining of the hydromineral resources in Russia remain low. This is caused by the absence of efficient and environmentally friendly processing technologies. The necessity of resolving these problems relates to the perspectives of developing a source of raw materials in Russia for extracting strategic rare earth metals and rather alkaline and alkaline-earth elements (lithium, rubidium, cesium, strontium etc.) from unconventional sources of mineral raw materials. The unique property of the brines is their industrially profitable concentrations: by 20-25 times on lithium, by 5-10 times on rubidium, by 3 times on cesium, by 10 times on strontium. Great resources of rare-earth metals and rather alkaline and alkaline-earth elements (in industrially profitable concentrations) are concentrated in Angaro-Lensky and Oleneksky artesian basin on all lithological horizons. On the basis of theoretical studies and pilot researches revealed conditions of the selective extraction of strontium, lithium and rubidium from highly concentrated natural brines during the ion exchange. Technological schemes were developed to extraction of rare earth metals and rather alkaline and alkaline-earth elements from brines and various compositions of quarry waters of iron-ore and diamond deposits in Siberia.