Professor Sahajwalla, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology, says the research hub provides a unique opportunity for a range of different industries to join forces with scientists in a common goal.
“Our overarching commitment is to get value out of waste and not always put it into landfill, which is not a good solution, both environmentally and economically,” she says.
The hub’s industry partners are Brickworks Building Products Pty Ltd, Arrium Mining Consumables, Jaylon Industries Pty Ltd, and Tersum Energy Pty Ltd.
The hub will undertake world-leading research into the high temperature transformation of waste that is rich in glass and plastic - for example, from used cars – into new products that could include wear-resistant grinding media and light-weight “green” building materials.
Professor Sahajwalla has won many awards as the developer of a revolutionary “green steel” making process, commercialised by OneSteel, in which old rubber tyres and plastics are used as a partial replacement for coke in electric arc furnace steelmaking.
“We’ve clearly had good success with green steelmaking, and we could do so much more through green manufacturing. There are so many other opportunities. That’s what drives me on,” says Professor Sahajwalla.
UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Les Field said it was a great outcome for UNSW. “Professor Sahajwalla and her team are at the forefront of waste recycling technology. The Industrial Transformation Research Hubs are important vehicles for bringing together the research sector and industry to translate her great research into practice,” Professor Field said.
This is an extract of an article originally published in science.unsw.edu.au June 13, 2014
Read full article by Deborah Smith