The Interdisciplinary Centre for Circular Chemical Economy (CircularChem) aims to transform the UK chemical industry into a more resource-efficient, productive and higher value system. This means creating new pathways to recover and reuse chemicals from end-of-life products.

The centre is focused primarily on a chemical group known as olefins (such as ethylene and propylene) which account for over 70% of all organic chemical production. These chemicals are used in the production of a wide range of products, including household appliances, textiles, paints and packaging.

Despite the importance and widespread use of olefins in everyday products, there is only limited recovery of these chemicals at the end of the product life, resulting in large amounts of waste. Challenges to the recovery and reuse of these chemicals include contamination and a lack of suitable recycling technologies. The CircularChem Centre will explore, develop and assess alternative routes to recirculate carbon for new chemical production to transition towards a circular chemical economy.

Diagram of chemicals circularity, including biological route, electrochemical route, and chemical recycling route

The CircularChem vision for a circular chemical economy involves finding new routes to recycle and reuse existing organic chemicals through CO2 recycling. Helping the sector move away from dependence on fossil fuels.

CircularChem logo

Contact the Centre for Circular Chemical Economy: circular.chemical@lboro.ac.uk

Visit the CircularChemicals Website

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