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CPI is collaborating with industry and academia to improve the sustainability of the built environment through implementing a circular economy approach to resource use: no waste or pollution. Making the smartest possible use of natural resources and establishing systems where all wastes can be recycled or reused to make something useful will dramatically improve future environmental impact and sustainability.
Towns and cities must use their infrastructure more effectively to minimise resource consumption and eliminate waste, while at the same time increasing the efficiency of products and services such as energy, water and waste management. All aspects of community life will become increasingly efficient to reduce costs and emissions.
CPI offers our clients access to computer modeling systems for measuring the flow of resource use over time and identifying where the largest gains in resource efficiency, cost reductions and sustainability can be made.
Research suggests that the UK throws away around 15 million tonnes of food waste each year (source: Defra/WRAP). Much of this waste is sent to landfill sites where it breaks down into methane and carbon dioxide, both powerful greenhouse gases that contribute significantly to climate change.
CPI has significant experience in assisting companies from every level of the supply chain with creating high value commodities from city and building waste streams. These streams can be from sources as diverse as municipal waste, supermarket food, construction waste, and sewage sludge. Using our industrial biotechnology expertise and world class anaerobic digestion and C1 gas facilities, companies can test and develop processes for transforming waste into valuable bio-products such as energy for the provision of public services, public transport fuels, or saleable plastic, chemical or material products.
If a circular economy is to be achieved, companies operating within the built environment market must start to use fully recyclable or reusable raw materials. CPI is engaged in several collaborative projects with companies to develop products offering these sustainable properties.
For instance, our technical expertise has supported advancement and commercialisation by Cellucomp of an innovative material called Curran, which has the exceptional rheological and mechanical properties required for use as a coating, in paint composites and concrete. This material was developed entirely from the extraction of nano-cellulose fibres of waste root vegetables which would otherwise be discarded by the food industry as waste. The use of waste in this way offers the added advantage of freeing up arable land for the production of food, instead of industry chemicals and materials.
UK based SME Fiberight Ltd and CPI have collaborated as part of an InnovateUK IB Catalyst Late Stage feasibility project to produce sugar from landfill waste.
The project will demonstrate conversion of optimised enzymatic hydrolysis of Fiberight’s high performance cellulose, which is extracted from municipal solid waste at demonstration scale, to a repeatable cellulosic sugar for replacing cereal crop in non-food applications.