Here you can find an overview of the projects of the BMBF funding measure "Resource-efficient Circular Economy  - Plastic Recycling Technologies (KuRT)":

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CircuTray-UP: Innovative technologies for implementing a circular economy for PET trays in food packaging

Coordinating institution: Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging 

Project duration: 01.11.2023 – 31.10.2026

"CircuTray-UP" focuses on the efficient and sustainable recycling of post-consumer PET trays, which are collected in large quantities in the German dual collection systems but are not currently recycled to a high standard. Mechanical and spectroscopic sorting processes are used to separate and mechanically recycle mono-PET trays, while PET from multi-layer composite trays is recovered using an innovative solvent-based approach. The recyclates are then used to produce new recyclable PET trays, and a functional barrier is used for use in food packaging.


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(©Theo Steil GmbH)

H2Cycle II: HydroCycling  - Chemical recycling of used plastics into petrochemical raw materials and base chemicals

Coordinating institution: BASF SE

Project duration: 01.10.2023 - 30.09.2026

The objective of the project "H2Cycle II" is the development of an environmentally friendly and energy efficient feedstock recycling process for post-consumer plastics.

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Research fields "pool-in-loop" (©Prof. Mathias Seitz, Merseburg University)

pool-in-loop: Development of an energy-efficient depolymerisation process for polyolefin-containing plastic waste using catalysts for the direct production of polymers for new plastics

Coordinating institution: Merseburg University

Project duration: 01.09.2023 – 31.08.2028

The "pool-in-loop" project aims to chemically recycle polyolefin-rich plastic waste, which is currently thermally recycled, using specially formulated catalysts. Direct conversion produces chemical building blocks in an energy-efficient manner with high yields, thereby increasing resource efficiency.

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Geogrid reinforcement in a bridge structure (©IWARU, Münster University)

ProGeo-UP: Implementation of product stewardship through closed-loop geosynthetics

Coordinating institution: Münster University  - Institute for Infrastructure, Water, Resources, Environment (IWARU) 

Project duration: 01.09.2023 - 28.02.2027

Geosynthetics have been successfully used for decades in all geotechnical applications (earthworks, hydraulic engineering, road construction, landfill construction). In the "ProGeo-UP" project, the necessary conditions are to be created for these high-grade plastics, which are currently mainly disposed of in waste incineration plants after deconstruction, to complete a full recycling process within the next five years. Processes for the reuse of geosynthetics, especially for temporary structures, are also being developed. 

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Improving the process efficiency of mechanical recycling of post-consumer plastic packaging waste through sensor-based material flow characterisation (©STADLER Anlagenbau GmbH)

ReVise-UP: Improving the process efficiency of mechanical recycling of post-consumer plastic packaging waste through intelligent material flow management

Coordinating institution: RWTH Aachen University  - Institute for Anthropogenic Material Cycles (ANTS)

Project duration: 01.09.2023 – 31.08.2027

Aim of "ReVise-UP" is the large-scale demonstration of sensor-based material flow characterization technologies in post-consumer plastic packaging recycling. Based on the achieved transparency, it is expected that the sustainability and process efficiency of the current plastics recycling can be substantially increased across the value chain.

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Films and granulate from recycled and new material (©RWTH Aachen University, Institute for Plastics Processing/Fröls)

SmellStop: Odour reduction as a key technology for the use of recycled post-consumer polyethylene

Coordinating institution: RWTH Aachen University  - Institute for Plastics Processing

Project duration: 01.08.2023 - 31.07.2026

The increasingly strict regulations for packaging demand high recycling rates and the use of recyclates in new packaging. However, the main barrier to the widespread use of post-consumer recyclates in packaging films is odour. In the project "SmellStop", a holistic approach is being pursued to reduce the odour of polyethylene film recyclates by means of process technology, in which the entire value chain from recyclate preparation to film production is being considered. In addition, the odour-causing substances are identified to avoid these substances already in the primary packaging.

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(pixabay, OpenClipart-Vectors)

KuRT_Plus: Networking and transfer project for the BMBF funding measure "Resource-efficient Circular Economy  - Plastic Recycling Technologies"

Coordinating institution: DECHEMA e.V. 

Project duration: 01.03.2023 - 28.02.2027

The networking and transfer project "KuRT_Plus" connects the research projects of the BMBF funding measure "Resource-efficient Circular Economy  - Plastic Recycling Technologies (KuRT)", provides technical support and supports the transfer of research results into economic practice.

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