Research for waste recycling and sustainable material cycles

The project metabolon has created an innovation site with a focus on research, education and circular economy on the Leppe landfill in Germany, where a competence centre for circular economy, resource management as well as environmental and landfill technologies has been established.

For the research of new waste utilization possibilities and the development of effective and sustainable material cycles, the research and innovation site metabolon in Germany has a new thermo-chemical research center at its disposal. 

The interdisciplinary research community :metabolon researches and develops the sustainable processing of residual materials as well as their cascading, material and energy recovery in order to conserve primary raw materials and ensure resource protection. The aim is to determine the optimal material use of residual materials in order to generate energy as well as by-products from which further valuable materials can be obtained through adequate post-treatment steps.

The new research infrastructure complements two sub-projects that created a laboratory wing with state-of-the-art equipment, a pilot plant and a center for mechanical stock preparation. These have now been expanded to include two thermo-chemical plants. Together with the existing hydrothermal carbonization plant, the pyrolysis and gasification plants form the site's new thermo-chemical center. 

The new technologies offer the opportunity to explore innovative recycling routes and, in particular, to focus on new residual material streams. In addition to biogenic residues, the plants are also to utilize plastics and composites as well as mineral residues in further research projects. The aim of the further research projects is to work together with all stakeholders to move away from a linear economy toward circular value creation.