Library

The library contains a wealth of information on the circular economy for use by policy makers and analysts conducting impact assessments. For more information on impact assessments and the EU's Better Regulation Agenda, please click here.

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    VEEP

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    VEEP

    Source: 

    VEEP

    Year: 

    2016

    Seeks to develop a series of technological solutions to revise the built environment, to cost-effectively lower building energy consumption.

    Utilization of structural steel in buildings

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Muiris C. Moynihan, Julian M. Allwood

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2014

    "Over one-quarter of steel produced annually is used in the construction of buildings. Making this steel causes carbon dioxide emissions, which climate change experts recommend be reduced by half in the next 37 years. One option to achieve this is to design and build more efficiently, still delivering the same service from buildings but using less steel to do so. To estimate how much steel could be saved from this option, 23 steel-framed building designs are studied, sourced from leading UK engineering firms. The utilization of each beam is found and buildings are analysed to find patterns...

    New Life of the Building Materials- Recycle, Reuse and Recovery

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    W.Y. Ng, C.K. Chau

    Year: 

    2015

    "Bulk of construction wastes generated through the dismantling process in a building redevelopment project creates many environment problems. Greater efforts are needed to put on the End-Of-Life (EOL) of building materials. Recycling, reusing and recovering of demolished wastes can either help relieve the landfill capacity or ‘regain’ some energy from existing building materials in order to reduce the embodied energy use for in the next new built building. This paper proposes to use ‘energy saving potential’ to quantify the amount of energy at the EOL phase that can be made usable in the...

    Identifying macro-objectives for the life cycle environmental performance and resource efficiency of EU buildings

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Nicholas Dodd, Shane Donatello, Elena Garbarino, Miguel Gama-Caldas

    Source: 

    JRC

    Year: 

    2015

    "The European Commission's 2014 Communication on Resource Efficiency Opportunities in the Building Sector identified the need for a common EU framework of indicators for the assessment of the environmental performance of buildings. A study to develop this approach is being taken forward during 2015-2017 by DG ENV and DG GROW, with the technical support of DG JRC-IPTS. This working paper brings together the findings of the first stage in this study, which focusesses on the identification of 'macro-objectives' for the environmental performance of the EU buildings stock. This stage is...

    Summary findings and indicator proposals for the life cycle environmental performance, quality and value of EU office and residential buildings

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Nicholas Dodd, Shane Donatello, Miguel Gama-Caldas, Ighor Van de Vyver, Wim Debacker, Marianne Stranger, Carolin Spirinckx, Oriane Dugrosprez, Karen Allacker

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2016

    "The European Commission's 2014 Communication on Resource Efficiency Opportunities in the Building Sector identified the need for a common EU framework of indicators for the assessment of the environmental performance of buildings. A study to develop this approach is being taken forward during 2015-2017 by DG ENV and DG GROW, with the technical support of DG JRC-IPTS." (p. 4) This document is a summary of the findings and proposes indicators for the life cycle environmental performance, quality and value of EU office and residential buildings."

    Design for change and circularity - accommodating circular material & product flows in construction

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    R.J. Geldermans

    Year: 

    2016

    "Circular building concepts, as proposed within e.g. Circular Economy and Cradle-to-Cradle frameworks, imply radical changes for the construction sector. Cradle-to-Cradle® in particular has put forward the idea of buildings as material banks, radically altering the way material flows need to be managed. The notion of material banks (temporary storage of materials that comprise the building assemblies) sheds new light on the value of building materials and products, and how to maintain and restore this. The basics are straightforward: high quality, pure material use and anticipated material...

    Tracking the Flow of Resources in Electronic Waste - The Case of End-of-Life Computer Hard Disk Drives

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Komal Habib, Keshav Parajuly, and Henrik Wenzel

    Source: 

    Environ. Sci. Technol.

    Year: 

    2015

    Recovery of resources, in particular, metals, from waste flows is widely seen as a prioritized option to reduce their potential supply constraints in the future. The current waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) treatment system is more focused on bulk metals, where the recycling rate of specialty metals, such as rare earths, is negligible compared to their increasing use in modern products, such as electronics. This study investigates the challenges in recovering these resources in the existing WEEE treatment system. It is illustrated by following the material flows of...

    Recycling of metals from urban mines- a strategic evaluation

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Zhi Sun, Yanping Xiao, Hanneke Agterhuis, Jilt Sietsma, Yongxiang Yang

    Source: 

    Journal of Cleaner Production

    Year: 

    2015

    Urban mining has attracted increasing attention as a research topic, owing to the high growth rate, environmental issues, and market potential of waste generated in urban areas. Metal recovery from such waste has become increasingly important especially in accordance with the concept of metal criticality. This study develops a model by evaluating various types of urban waste in order to understand the criticality of these waste streams and determine their potential for metal recovery. Two factors, i.e. the resource index and technology index, are defined and assessed through a systematic...

    Recycling of WEEE's: An economic assessment of present and future e-waste streams

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Federica Cucchiella, Idiano D'Adamo, S.C.Lenny Koh, Paolo Rosa...

    Source: 

    Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

    Year: 

    2015

    Waste from Electric and Electronic Equipments (WEEEs) is currently considered to be one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, with an estimated growth rate going from 3% up to 5% per year. The recycling of Electric or electronic waste (E-waste) products could allow the diminishing use of virgin resources in manufacturing and, consequently, it could contribute in reducing the environmental pollution. Given that EU is trying, since the last two decades, to develop a circular economy based on the exploitation of resources recovered by wastes, a comprehensive framework supporting...

    Recycling of rare earths: a critical review

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Koen Binnemans, Peter Tom Jones, Bart Blanpain, Tom Van Gerven, Yongxiang Yang, Allan Walton, Matt-hias Buchert

    Source: 

    Journal of Cleaner Production

    Year: 

    2013

    The rare-earth elements (REEs) are becoming increasingly important in the transition to a green economy, due to their essential role in permanent magnets, lamp phosphors, catalysts, rechargeable batteries etc. With China presently producing more than 90% of the global REE output and its increasingly tight export quota, the rest of the world is confronted with a REE supply risk. Mining companies are now actively seeking new exploitable REE deposits while some old mines are being reopened. Because of the absence of economical and/or operational primary deposits on their territory, many...

    A Strategy for Material Supply Chain Sustainability: Enabling a Circular Economy in the Electronics Industry through Green Engineering

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Megan P. O'Connor, Julie B. Zimmerman, Paul T. Anastas, and Desiree L. Plata...

    Source: 

    ACS Sustainable Che. Eng.

    Year: 

    2016

    Rapid innovation in the field of electronic technologies through the use of rare earth and specialty elements (RESE) has made the electronics industry one of the most rapidly evolving industries to date. However, innovations to har-vest these same materials from complex waste streams have not kept pace, thus leading to an unsustainable material supply chain reliant on the mining of increasingly difficult-to-extract ores. Here, we aim to provide a strategy to mitigate these challenges, identifying the technical research and development needed to further sustainable electronics through Green...

    Final Report: Processes for Recovery and Recycling of Chromium From Spent Chromium Oxide Fluorination Catalysts

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Darrell Coons

    Source: 

    US EPA

    Year: 

    2000

    The purpose of this Phase I project was to develop a process for recovery of chromium from spent chromium(III) oxide fluorination catalysts and similar waste or byproduct streams. The spent catalysts contain 40-64% chromium, primarily in the forms of chromium(III) oxide, Cr2O3, and chromium(III) fluoride, CrF3. They are hazardous solid wastes, for which no known processes for chromium recovery had previously existed. Little has been reported on the chemistry of chromium(III) fluoride. Work in our laboratories has shown that the spent catalysts are extremely inert to chemical attack by...

    REE4EU

    Type of evidence: 

    Year: 

    2015

    The project, funded in the frame of Horizon 2020 TOPIC SPIRE-07-2015, will realize a breakthrough innovation in the field of Recovery Technologies for Metals and other Minerals. It will make available Rare Earth elements and Rare Earth alloys for magnet production by developing, for the first time at industrial scale, an efficient and cost effective method of extraction and a direct production route for Rare Earth Alloys which will be achieved through in-process and End-of-Life permanent magnets as well as Ni metal hydride battery waste.

    Remaghic

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    H2020

    Year: 

    2015

    REMAGHIC is focused on contributing to Europe's rare earth recovery and magnesium recycling technologies, improving the efficiencies of these processes and advancing the technology readiness levels for a new generation of industrial processes that will produce new low cost competitive alloys for a wide variety of sectors across Europe's manufacturing value chain. The project motivation lies on the fact that magnesium alloys can offer a significant weight reduction when compared to aluminium alloys. Weight reduction is a cross sectorial key design driver, if a superior energy absorption and...

    Priorities for critical materials for a circular economy

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    EASAC

    Year: 

    2016

    "This report reviews briefly the historical criteria for critical raw materials currently under review by the Commission and the Joint Research Centre (JRC), and notes that many critical materials still have very low recycling rates which increases the demand for virgin materials and therefore reduces lifetime of supply. EASAC is in broad agreement with the criteria that the Commission proposes to apply in selecting critical materials for the new list in 2017 but notes that environmental impacts of extraction of raw materials are substantial and should be considered in the criticality...

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