SMaRT to host new ARC Microrecycling Research Hub

The Federal Government and the Australian Research Council (ARC) announced in second half of 2019 that the UNSW SMaRT Centre had won its second ARC Research Hub, this time into Microrecycling of Battery and Consumer Wastes.

The UNSW announcement said Professor Veena Sahajwalla, founding Director of UNSW’s Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology (SMaRT), will lead a hub awarded $3.3 million. The hub aims to transform Australia’s waste and resource recovery industry by developing advanced manufacturing capabilities that focus on small-scale processing of materials produced from battery and consumer wastes.

In collaboration with mining manufacturer Molycop and other industry partners, the project will deliver new information about high-temperature reactions of waste and selective synthesis techniques to transform waste into valuable materials and products, including metallic alloys, oxides and carbon. The aim is for industry to adopt commercially viable technology and processes where low value or complex waste is reformed into high-value materials, creating jobs and environmental and social benefits. The hub is supported by a further $2.6 million of industry contributions.

Professor Sahajwalla said it was vitally important for researches to collaborate with industry and jointly tackle some of society’s big challenges including solutions to our waste and recycling issues.

“With this new work on battery and consumer waste, we will be developing microrecycling science and advanced manufacturing technology and capability where waste materials can be reformed into value-added materials and kept out of landfill which will boost the emerging circular economy,” Professor Sahajwalla said. “The ultimate aim with this technology is to create jobs and enhance social, environmental and economic outcomes not just for local communities but nationally as Australia contributes to global supply chains.”

Read this story in Manufacturers Monthly.