Parallel Session 13: Top ten technologies towards sustainable use of our resources

“Hartwig Michels” mentioned in this session that there is a growing pressure on the resources of our planet in order to cover the needs of citizens as well as on the industrial companies to offer long term sustainable growth and deliver quarterly results. How can we proceed to use materials smarter, less, and longer? Resorting to industry leaders (MNC’s and startups) and key opinion leaders (Governments and NGO’s, academia, experts, and media), a list of top 10 WMF technologies was elaborated in a way that their impact is huge and measurable on decoupling economic growth and the use of natural resources while creating value for industries :

1/ Recycling of plastics and carbon fiber composites.

2/ Recycling of EV batteries.

3/ Improving mobility performance of EV batteries.

4/ Improving storage performance of residential batteries Grap.

5/ Low energy access to potable water.

6/ Spintronics for lower power consumption of data storage/usage.

7/No CO2 production of bulk materials.

8/ Hydrogen based on renewable for fuel cells at reasonable cost.

9/ 3D manufacturing of plastics and carbon fiber composites.

10/ Al and Quantum or accelerated materials discovery.

All of these techniques have a huge impact on both short and long term. During the presentation, a focused investigation on 3 of the techniques was explained. The most important points are as follow :

-Chemical Recycling of plastics: « by Prof Stéphane Mangin » 100 Mt less monomers every year for the same volume of plastics products worldwide with positive applications (food protection, lightweighting of cars insulation of buildings …)

-Spintronics: “by Cody Finke” 50% reduction in energy consumption compared to conventional electronics

-New process for cement: “By Prof.Victoir de Margerie” 50% reduction in CO2 emissions and H2 as a low-cost by-product.

And also:

-Lower pressure and better geographical autonomy on critical materials thanks to more efficient battery recycling.

-Faster and lower costs development of hydrogen economy based on renewable etc.

Their development requires priority setting and coordination between all stakeholders of the material supply chain which raises some questions: be regulatory (which frame(s) will be most efficient), legal (how do we assess competition of grant IP), and financial (how do we fund investments or value achievements).  

Reported by: Hana Ben Mahrez, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest