Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabine Flamme
Climate changes and securing the supply with important raw materials are the global challenges of the future. Innovative strategies and technologies for a sustainable management of increasingly scarce resources are urgently needed. Recycling and the circulation of appropriate material flows and materials are approaches to sustainable solutions.
The following research approaches are currently being pursued in this context by the Flamme working group:
- Due to its increasing highly functional, strategically relevant metal content, electrical and electronic devices (EED) are an important source of raw materials. Recycling techniques to date have not been technically optimised for this task. The objective of our research is to attain the enrichment of selected metals in the treatment of EED and their components across all stages of the recycling chain using new and optimised processes and process chains. Thus, the recovery can be improved within existing recycling systems, loss can be minimised and cycles get closed.
- Quality monitoring with the aid of measurements is the conventional method in the exploitation of waste materials as recycling products. This is predominantly monitored by means of chemical analyses, which, as a rule, are only made available following long delays to an extent (after the processing and utilisation). So, a direct impact on the quality of the processed material flows is not possible. Our investigations using online analysis systems (e.g. NIR-based) in the field of substitute fuels show that these provide solution approaches that can also be transferred to other material flows.
- The structures of the late 20th and 21st century are characterised by a variety of synthetically produced components and materials, which are bonded together such that they can only be separated with difficulty or not at all. This results in a considerably poorer added value of the individual materials on demolition or selective partial demolition (and to a higher associated consumption of resources), as well as significantly higher disposal costs. It is therefore necessary to see the building as a source for resources and, as early as the planning of buildings, also to make allowance for the demolition phase and the recycling quality of the materials used in the construction. We are currently developing the appropriate planning tools.