RWTH: RWTH bundles strengths in the field of circular economy

The CCE is raising the university’s distinctive technical and ecological competencies in the field of recycling materials such as metals, minerals, textiles, plastics, water and carbon to a new platform. Institutes for social affairs, economics, science and digitization are also integrated here. “RWTH can further expand the already strong network in the development of innovative solutions for the creation of sustainable business models,” explains the center’s spokesman, Professor Bernd Friedrich, head of the Institute for Metallurgical Process Technology and Metal Recycling IME.

Circular economy covers almost all social and scientific areas, starting with the extraction of raw materials to the end of the use of consumer goods. It aims to preserve the value of goods and applications as much as possible by rethinking, reducing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, recovering and partially recycling after their primary or even secondary use. “It is more important than ever to design products, goods and materials right from the start in such a way that the highest possible circulation is achieved. Only this holistic view of various factors can lead to product cycles being closed and additional alternative life paths possible, ”emphasizes Friedrich. But that can only be achieved through the interaction of citizens, politics,

“The circular economy has been directly or indirectly related to projects at RWTH for decades. In view of the existing global challenge, it is necessary to use synergies and systematically apply the knowledge distributed within the university and combine it under one roof, ”said RWTH Rector Professor Ulrich Rüdiger about the strategic step in founding the center, where all nine faculties of the University of Excellence are involved. The first major projects are aimed at minimizing waste, maximizing the value of recycling materials, helping to shape political framework conditions and enabling their acceptance in society. This takes place on a regional, national and international level, including teaching that is to be developed in a targeted manner.