Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Design and Management of Sustainable Plastic Value Chains to Support a Circular Economy Transition

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.02.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Chemical engineering   
1.08.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Control and care of the environment   

Code Science Field
2.04  Engineering and Technology  Chemical engineering  
1.05  Natural Sciences  Earth and related Environmental sciences 
Thermoset and thermoplastic polymers; plastic value chain; synthesis of plastic value chains; Chemical recycling; Fragmentation in soil and waters; Circularity, techno-economic and socio-environmental performance; Comparative assessment; Plastics footprint
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on July 17, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  530  14,704  12,833  24.21 
Scopus  644  18,288  15,966  24.79 
Researchers (16)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  31616  PhD Maja Čolnik  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2021 - 2024  128 
2.  30944  PhD Lidija Čuček  Chemical engineering  Head  2021 - 2024  448 
3.  55624  Monika Dokl  Chemical engineering  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  40 
4.  19753  PhD Lidija Fras Zemljič  Textile and leather  Researcher  2021 - 2024  547 
5.  52508  Rok Gomilšek  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2021  24 
6.  57006  Mihael Irgolič  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2023 - 2024  14 
7.  33479  Miha Kavšek  Chemistry  Researcher  2021 - 2024 
8.  23475  PhD Damjan Krajnc  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2024  166 
9.  06005  PhD Zdravko Kravanja  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2021 - 2024  905 
10.  34486  PhD Aleksandra Petrovič  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2023  75 
11.  35476  PhD Olivija Plohl  Textile and leather  Researcher  2021 - 2024  111 
12.  57403  Jan Puhar  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2023 - 2024  40 
13.  11865  PhD Mojca Škerget  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2021 - 2024  772 
14.  20238  PhD Julija Volmajer Valh  Chemistry  Researcher  2021 - 2024  281 
15.  33679  PhD Annamaria Vujanović  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2022 - 2024  99 
16.  28169  Bojana Žiberna  Chemical engineering  Technical associate  2022 - 2024  31 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0794  University of Maribor, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering  Maribor  5089638012  13,182 
2.  0795  University ob Maribor, Faculty of mechanical engineering  Maribor  5089638010  24,090 
3.  6002  MELAMIN Chemical factory Kočevje  Kočevje  5034043  141 
Plastics are an important class of materials, bringing many social and economic benefits. Global production of plastics reached 380 million tons in 2018 (a 20-fold increase since the 1960s) and its further growth is expected. Due to the long decomposition time and low recycling rates, large quantities of plastics are accumulated in the natural environments and landfills. Less than 30% of such waste is collected for recycling, where majority of it comes as a single use origin. This issue of disposable plastic products leads to extensive usage of mostly fossil-based raw materials and a large amount of plastic waste, which causes severe environmental damage, impact on human health and wildlife and economic loss. Therefore, more research is needed to improve our understanding of the source and impact of plastic materials, formation of micro and nano plastics, and their impact on the environment. Therefore it is needed to provide theoretical support for the sustainable and circular design and management of various plastic value chains. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire world, leaving significant consequences. One such serious problem is the pollution caused by plastic waste - face masks and packaging waste. The project aims to minimize the negative impacts and maximize the economic value of plastic use through an economically and ecologically optimal increase in the circularity and overall plastic value chains. The degrees of freedom to be exploited include Industrial Symbiosis, and material, and chemical recycling. This project aims to develop the syntheses of different plastic materials in the most sustainable way. The basic idea is to complement the earth's natural cycles and integrate them into industrial supply networks to minimize waste and aim for zero-waste in future developments. Options and solutions for degradation, reuse, recycling, and valuable upcycling of products will be explored, including various options for faster degradation of plastic materials. The performance criteria to be used include environmental, economic, social and energy dimensions. The project will focus on at least two plastics types: at least one thermoplastic and one thermoset plastic material. We will focus on widely used type of plastics and specialized industrial plastics. Although various biodegradable and alternative plastics are used, their value chains, degradation processes and environmental impacts have not yet been clarified. A comparative analysis will be performed for different plastic value chains and compared with their alternatives. The main research tasks in developing the sustainable methodology for circular design and management of plastic value chains in this collaboration are: * Synthesis of sustainable value chains of different plastics using renewable and waste materials (water, air, sun, waste) and energy based on the Mathematical Programming approach. * Minimization of the environmental footprint of the plastics value chain through Process Integration and resource substitution (e.g. raw material, renewable energy). * Develop the plastic waste footprint to measure the circularity of a given process system (waste recovery and disposal, including the supply chain). * Exploring different degradation options and leaching behaviour of plastics, including laboratory studies, to understand the degradation process under different soil and marine conditions. * Investigation of chemical recycling options and upcycling of plastics value chains to recover monomeric components or other valuable chemicals. * Techno-economic assessment and environmental and social impacts of different plastic waste recovery processes. * Comparative analysis of the environmental footprint of the different plastic value chains (conventional and improved) compared to their alternatives (e.g. paper, glass, metal).
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