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Aitiip Receives International QIA Award in China for Innovations in Enzymatic Recycling Technologies and Biobased Materials

The prestigious Quality Innovation Awards have recognized the research lines of the technological centre in the category of ‘circular economy innovation and zero carbon footprint.’

Aitiip leads several European projects to provide a sustainable solution for non-recyclable plastics.

Aitiip Technology Centre has been selected as the winner of the Quality Innovation Award 2023 for its research in biobased materials and enzymatic recycling technologies for separating complex plastics. This prestigious award acknowledges the best R&D initiatives in the international landscape. The jury, which evaluated over 500 projects from 14 countries worldwide, awarded Aitiip the prize for ‘Circular Economy Innovation and Zero Carbon Footprint.’

Berta Gonzalvo, the research director at Aitiip, traveled to Zhuhai, China, to attend the awards ceremony on behalf of the entire technology centre team.

Aitiip Receives International QIA Award in China for Innovations in Enzymatic Recycling Technologies and Biobased Materials

The QIA awards, which were born in Finland in 2007, start with a national phase in which the association of Centres for the Promotion of Excellence, made up of public and private organisations from twelve autonomous communities, and after evaluating hundreds of candidatures, previously select the winners within the national territory who will compete in the international phase.

Biomaterials and Future Recycling Technologies

Plastic waste poses a significant threat to our ecosystems. Currently, global plastic production exceeds 350 million tons, with approximately 85% being thermoplastics and 15% thermoset plastics. These materials are found in large aerospace structures and construction sectors, which were previously difficult to recycle. For instance, in the coming years, over 12,000 aircraft and more than 3,000 wind turbine blades will reach the end of their lifespan.

At Aitiip Technology Centre, work is underway within projects like BIZENTE or VIBES to adopt a circular approach that provide value to composite materials and their components at all levels. This includes selective dismantling for reuse and remanufacturing in various sectors, as well as the development of sustainable chemical and biological recycling technologies. The goal is to recover high-value components for a second life.

Additionally, Aitiip leads the development of new biobased materials to create plastic product ranges that are intrinsically recyclable or compostable. The Revoluzion project, for example, involves designing tailor-made enzymes that are introduced into plastic products to make them biodegradable through controlled degradation.

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