Read the latest news from the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology
At an event at UNSW Sydney today the Indian and Australian trade ministers both publicly acknowledged SMaRT Centre Director Prof Veena's innovations.
Veena spoke to Indian Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister Dan Tehan about how the UNSW SMaRT Centre's Green SteelR Polymer Injection TechnologyR uses waste rubber tyres as a replacement for coke and coal in electric arc furnaces and how the latest research uses spent coffee grounds and waste plastics to also release hydrogen for a more energy efficient steel making process.
Million of waste tyres have been kept out of landfill by being used emissions-free for steel making to replace the need for emissions emitting coke and coal. And using discarded plastics and coffee grounds that mostly still go to landfill within the Green SteelR technology provides further evidence that waste can be a resource when used innovatively.
Image: UNSW President and Vice Chancellor Attila Brungs and Veena greet Minister Goyal and Minister Tehan.
Veena also talked about SMaRT's various MICROfactorieR technologies that can reform various other common wastes into new products and manufacturing feedstock, demonstrating the need to align recycling and manufacturing.
Trade Minister Dan Tehan and Indian counterpart Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal attended UNSW as part of a delegation of 58 Indian business leaders visiting Australia following the recent signing of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation Trade Agreement (AI ECTA) and the recently announced $35.7m Green Steel Partnership between the two countries.
Minister Tehan said: “I want to acknowledge Veena Sahajwalla and the wonderful work you do turning plastics and tyres into new products. You have our blessing, and we wish you well.”
He also said he would love to have one of the UNSW SMaRT Centre's MICROfactoriesR in his electorate.
Minister Goyal said: "I think the new agreement ... is all about bringing the two countries together, engaging with scale, taking the strengths of the two countries to each other, and collectively making the world a better place to live in.
"The high quality research that you are doing ... can actually be used at scale in India. We are planning to triple our steel making capacity and we can get clean energy and hydrogen into the steel mills, and maybe tyres alone will not give us enough raw stock, but we have to seriously look at ways and means to get that tripling of the steel capacity.
"We are looking at energy efficiency in a big way."
Below: Minister Goyal's speech video