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Séminaire : Échanges avec le professeur Ulrich Blum

Polytechnique Montréal

vendredi 19 oct 2018
De 10H30 à 12H

Le Groupe GMT, l'Institut EDDEC et le CIRANO ont eu le plaisir d'organiser une discussion avec le professeur Ulrich Blum, directeur du Center for Economics of Materials, sur la thématique « Carbon-based industries and the circular economy: Policy questions, scientific implications ».


Cette rencontre, qui a eu lieu à Polytechnique Montréal le 19 octobre, a réuni un petit nombre de chercheurs afin de favoriser les échanges avec le professeur Blum.


Résumé de la présentation (anglais seulement)

Among the most urgent problems of recycling – and waste management – are those related to carbon-based products in general and, here most specifically, to the recycling of plastics’ ma-terials. Materials from plastic of all sizes – macro, micro, nano – are polluting the world and methods are searched to reduce waste and leakages and organize a complete life cycle system.

The presentation addresses the general environment of a carbon-reducing economic policy and then explores the idea of a combined recycling and pyrolytic waste-management approach – the latter in contrast to existing combustion technologies. The most important features are an optimization of the functional design of materials, its relationship to consumers’ and produc-ers’ markets and the ability for recycling or deconstruction. This necessitates not only a simul-taneous organization and thinking of three design elements – functional design, product de-sign, deconstruction/recycling design that we call Total Design Management (TDM). It also enforces a digital optimization of value flows by mapping them into a digital world – the Ma-terials Data Space (MDS). As an important side condition, standards have to be set that con-trol specifications, qualities and testing methodology.

From a methodological point of view, the proper handling of such a value flow – from cradle to cradle – necessitates an automatized decision system based on self-learning systems. We conceptualize a combined merit-order and real-options’ decision system. We show that the existing modelling of costs and the necessity to organize efficient waste-commodity markets are crucial for the success of such an approach.


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