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Challenges of the Circular Economy

Reuter, M. A.
A Circular Economy (CE) paradigm aims to maximize sustainability and resource efficiency by extending product life cycles and using wastes as resources. So, what is the brave step that will deliver the CE for modern services, complex products, and society in general? Questions we should, among others, ask and attempt to answer are (i) What are the challenges to achieve this move forward? (ii) What does the metallurgical infrastructure have to be that maximally recovers materials from increasingly complex products and services, while returning high quality materials back into the CE? (iii) What smart energy and water grid will maximize resource efficiency and minimize exergy destruction of an increasingly complex society and system? In order to answer these questions, the role of metallurgical processing systems, smart materials production, digital technology platforms, product design etc. will be discussed in the context of Sustainable Circular Cities. It will furthermore be shown how digitalized real-time simulation and control of material and metal flow and metallurgical processing systems i.e. the “Smart Materials Grid - SMG” will form the heart of the CE system. The SMG will integrate into the water, energy, transport, heavy industry, and other grid systems and will help drive the resource efficiency of the future “Sustainable Circular Cities.” This will help to enable “Smart Sustainable Living” by also helping to quantify and realize the United Nation’s Sustainability Development Goals.
Keywords: Circular Economy, sustainability, resource efficiency, CE,
  • Invited lecture (Conferences)
    REWAS 2019 Plenary Session, 10.-14.03.2019, San Antonio, Texas, USA

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Permalink: https://www.hzdr.de/publications/Publ-30593
Publ.-Id: 30593