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Award for method with potential to making circular economy for PUR plastic possible

Troels Skrydstrup and his team at Aarhus University have been awarded Plastprisen for the second consecutive year. This prestigious award recognizes their innovative work in developing chemical technologies for the closed-loop recycling of polyurethane (PU) products. Their groundbreaking research promises significant advancements in sustainable plastic recycling.

Professor Troels Skrydstrup and his research team at Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO) and Dept. of Chemistry have been awarded the Plastprisen 2024 for the second year running. This accolade celebrates their pioneering efforts in developing new chemical technologies aimed at the closed-loop recycling of polyurethane (PU) products, which are vital for sustainable plastic management.

The award-winning project, conducted in collaboration with the RePURpose consortium, focuses on an innovative chemical technology for disassembling PU, effectively separating the diamine and polyol fractions. This breakthrough allows for the creation of new flexible thermoset PU foams by substituting virgin polyol with recycled polyol, maintaining the original foam's mechanical and physical properties. Additionally, this technology has achieved the first selective disassembly of elastane fibers in fabrics containing mixtures of nylon and elastane.

Special thanks go to the RePURpose partners, including Danish Technological Institute, Dan-Foam ApS, LOGSTOR District Heating Solutions, ECCO, HJHansen Recycling Group, Tinby A/S, and PLIXXENT, whose collaboration was instrumental in this success. We also extend our gratitude to the dedicated team members Steffan Kvist Kristensen, Bjarke Donslund, Martin Bundgaard Johansen, Laurynas Gausas, PhD, Hongwei Sun, Alexander Ahrens, and Thomas Balle Bech. This research was generously funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark, Carlsberg Foundation, and Novo Nordisk Foundation.

In 2023, Skrydstrup and his team also received the Plastprisen for their innovative method to break down epoxy composites, facilitating the recycling of wind turbine blades. This discovery also earned them the prestigious international JEC Group Composite Award for Renewable Energy, showcasing their significant contributions to sustainable energy solutions. Read more about last year's Plastprisen received by the CETEC consortium here.

These achievements highlight the impactful work being done in our facilities and the importance of continued support for innovative research in sustainable technologies.

For more details, visit: RePURpose wins Plastprisen 2024