What goes around comes around, towards a circular economy
The circular economy relies on research and innovation, and the inventor of ‘green steel’ Professor Veena Sahajwalla is leading the way by transforming waste into valuable resources.
A bold call to action has been released for a future ‘circular economy’ in Australia that harvests resources and wealth from waste, stems the tide of unsustainable disposal and offers national annual cost savings in the order of $26 billion.
Despite the challenges still ahead, there is already movement in some industries in Australia.
One Steel, for instance, is mixing material from waste tyres with coke as sources of carbon for its electric arc furnaces, an approach based on R&D conducted by Laureate Professor Veena Sahajwalla and her team at the Centre for Sustainable Material Research and Technology (SMaRT) at the University of New South Wales.
The waste material actually allows the furnaces to operate more efficiently and facilitates steel production. It makes economic sense.