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From Waste To High-End Kitchen Tiles: Green Ceramics

In Jan 2022, I finally had the privilege to meet with Prof. Veena Sahajwalla (Director of the UNSW SM@RT Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow) and her team and industry partner Kandui Technologies, followed by a site visit to the SmaRT center in UNSW. To update what we have featured on Prof. Veena's technology in our 2021 newsletters, I witnessed the Art of Materials Science and Technology developed at SmaRT technology funded by the Australian government in partnership with industry. I was most impressed by a wide range of colorful-looking "Green Ceramics" produced by waste materials including glass, plastics, and textiles. The MICROfactorie technologies enable its commercial partner Kandui Technologies to build and operate Green Ceramics production at waste depots of municipalities to minimize the cost of waste management, generate economic value from waste, and create a new product supply chain.

SMaRT Centre and Kandui Technologies are currently building a Green Ceramics MICROfactorieTM at West Nowra (200kms south of Sydney), funded (500K AUD) by the state of NSW Environmental Trust's Remanufacture Initiative through Shoalhaven City Council. This is a pilot project to demonstrate the production of Green Ceramics from waste glass and mattresses used as kitchen benches, tabletops, tiles, furnishings, and other applications. The project will also demonstrate the re-manufacturing of waste plastics (from e- waste) into filament for 3D printing purposes.

SMaRT Center and Kandui Technologies are interested in expanding MICROfactorie in the ASEAN region to enable the transition to a circular economy in a local context.

Source of pictures is from SMaRT Center UNSW

Source: SMaRT Center UNSW

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