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CETIM Centro Tecnológico expands its R&D infrastructure with state-of-the-art equipment valued at € 650,000

Almost 200 registrants from all over Spain in the online conference “How the circular economy can position you in your sector” confirm the interest in the potential of the circular economy to create sustainable business models.


Experts in innovation from CETIM presented the techniques and technologies of the Technological Center; specifically the latest equipment incorporated within the framework of the CircularCETIM project valued at € 650,000.


Culleredo, December 17, 2020.- Today, “not applying circular economy principles in companies can mean falling behind in the market”, was highlighted at the beginning of the webinar “How the circular economy can position you in your sector” by Adrián Rodríguez Reino, Head of Business Development at CETIM Centro Tecnológico.



In addition to its clear environmental importance, he recalled that the circular economy is a critical aspect to provide added value to companies and promote economically sustainable businesses. He gave as an example how spending on industrial waste treatment can be converted into income through applied research.


The good reception of this event with almost 200 registrants confirms the interest of productive sectors such as plastics, wastewater treatment, waste management or agri-food in knowing how to apply techniques and technologies to adapt to the precepts of this new economic system or , more in particular, the New Action Plan for the Circular Economy of the European Commission or the Spanish Strategy for Circular Economy – Spain Circular 2030.


10-year milestones
Precisely, with 2030 on the horizon, five CETIM innovation experts presented the techniques and technologies available at the Technology Center through which to identify this added and differential value for each company with the aim of implementing resource efficiency models. and materials.


Thus, CETIM has just added new equipment valued at € 650,000 to its R&D infrastructure. Bioreactors from 5 to 120 litres capacity, an extrusion unit with a production capacity of 20 kg / h of polymer, a pelletizer, a coating unit for the application of advanced coatings, or software for the design and modelling of Digital Twins, Among others, they will complete the existing equipment in the seven laboratories set up at its headquarters in Culleredo, A Coruña (chemistry, microbiology, digital industry, construction, polymers, climatic chambers and auxiliary) and two areas for the operation of pilot plants.


Consolidated research
In the case of the application of the circular economy in the plastic sector, Marcos Sánchez, principal investigator in Polymers and coatings at CETIM, focused on the development of biopolymers and recycling methodologies for thermoplastic and thermoset polymers. Currently, less than 30% of plastic is collected for recycling, but if we gave a second life to all this global waste, the annual savings in energy consumption would be 3,500 barrels of oil.


Agri-food, mining and waste management are three other critical sectors in which bioprocesses are positioned as a key technology to achieve the objectives of Spain Circular 2030. As recalled by Julio Fierro, principal investigator in Biorefineries and new value chains at CETIM, agriculture and livestock together generate 26% of CO2 emissions although they could use their own waste to provide energy or move their machinery. “They are sources of emission, but also of application and could expand their value chain by applying these processes,” he concluded.


In her speech, Maite Ruiz, principal researcher in Emerging Biobased Technologies, recalled that for several years CETIM has applied the latest biohydrometallurgical techniques for the selective obtaining and extraction of elements or compounds with high added value, valuable metals or critical raw materials from streams residuals and by-products. Specifically, she mentioned biotechnologies and bioprocesses (enzymatic, bacterial, fungal, etc.).


Regarding those considered as the “new urban mines”, Isaac Fernández, principal researcher in Water and Air Treatment Technologies, presented the potential of WWTPs and WWTPs on three fronts. The first, regeneration of water for its reuse, for example, in agriculture; the second, the extraction of energy from water (biogas and electricity from carbon); and third, extraction of components that are scarce in nature, but in great demanía-circular-puede-posicionarte-en-tu-sector-Sector-Agua.pdfd, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, lithium or magnesium, among others.


Finally, Jose Sáez, head of Digital Industry at CETIM, explained in a very didactic way how to integrate and apply two platforms for information management that are so in vogue are the Digital Twins (digital twins) or the Blockchain to implement in any company a sustainable digitization process. Useful in phases of design, manufacture, during the useful life of a product or in processes, such as waste management for collection, separation and classification.


The circular economy is one of the most immediate challenges to drive solid and sustainable economic growth for companies of any size, from micro-SMEs to large corporations. In this sense, 90% of the R&D projects developed by CETIM Centro Tecnológico are related to the circular economy. In the seven years of life of this private technology center, in addition to collaborating with more than 160 companies of all fields, sectors and sizes, they have mobilized a capital of € 125M.


Progress on the Exploitation Plan 2020
During this period, part of the equipment that makes up the CircularCETIM infrastructure has been received and put into operation. Furthermore, the centre’s personnel have participated in different training activities for the use and maintenance of the acquired equipment, after which part of it has begun to be used in different projects being developed by the centre. At the same time, CETIM continues to carry out continuous technological surveillance of the equipment and potential technological services it can offer as a result of the new capabilities provided by the different elements of this infrastructure.


CircularCETIM infrastructure project
CircularCETIM has been subsidized by the Galician Innovation Agency within the framework of the 2020 call for the Aid Program for the strengthening of knowledge generation centers (File: IN607E 2020/04) and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund ( FEDER), within the FEDER Galicia 2014-2020 Operational Program. Thematic objective 1: “Promote technological development, innovation and quality research”. The infrastructure has been supported by the Ministry of Economy, Enterprise and Innovation.