The consideration of ecological issues in various sectors of activity is reflected in the evolution of industrial processes and the strategy of sourcing raw materials.

The work carried out within the framework of CERI MP’s thematic area “Circular economy and Eco-materials” aims to promote the use of secondary raw materials in various industrial sectors, such as public works, construction, transport, nuclear, packaging and the food industry. These new resources come mainly from waste deposits, industrial co-products or bio-based materials, and are atypical for their origins, their physicochemical properties and even their mechanical behaviour. Their use as a substitute for more traditional materials in industrial processes aims to preserve non-renewable natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce energy consumption.

To support producers, managers and users of secondary raw materials in the development of new industrial sectors and innovative materials, complementary scientific and technical approaches have been developed by CERI MP and formalised in three thematic sub-areas: 

Sub-area 1: Recovery of secondary, alternative and bio-sourced materials

 The emergence of industrial sectors of secondary, alternative and bio-based materials requires the establishment of a multidisciplinary approach, based on a detailed knowledge of materials, of the development and formulation processes, and of the evolution of technical performance throughout the life cycle. The aim of the work carried out at CERI MP is to acquire, through a multi-scale experimental approach (from micro-structure to works), the data needed to optimise the use of secondary, alternative and bio-sourced materials according to their intrinsic properties and to guarantee their durability in various waste recovery scenarios while considering their recyclability at the end of their life.

Sub-area 2: Environmental acceptability

 Unconventional materials intended for recycling are sometimes contaminated with metallic and metalloid trace elements, and/or organic substances. A realistic characterisation of the environmental risk presented by the reuse of these materials therefore requires consideration of the behaviour of the contaminants and the factors controlling their transfer into the host environment. As such, it is imperative to have an approach that is not only qualitative of the pollutants present and quantitative of the levels of contamination but that also evaluates the systems of transfers of the substances in various scenarios of use. Our experimental approach also aims to identify the retention mechanisms of contaminants at the solid/liquid interface and to prioritise their preponderance according to use and for each life cycle phase of the material.

Sub-area 3: Operational decision-making support

 The sustainable management of ones new resources and their recovery is a multi-factorial problem, linked to technical-economic, social and environmental constraints which are interdependent. The operators involved in the production, management and use of these materials are faced with management choices that are often difficult to assess, due to a lack of visibility of all the links in the value chain. To respond to management difficulties and move towards robust and transparent decision-making, operational decision-making support tools must be developed to help operators along the value chain build sustainable circular economy loops at a local level. On this theme, CERI MP is developing scientific approaches to measure and model the various constraints relating to the establishment of a waste recovery industry in a given territory. Waste recovery processes are optimised by using mathematical models, self-learning or artificial intelligence, and the knowledge of the main parameters of influence such as the physicochemical properties of matter, the impact of treatment processes, mechanical behaviour and the durability of manufactured materials.

Team expertise 

Distinctions, notable publications 

Area Coordinator: Yannick Mamindy-Pajany

Researchers working there

Nor-Edine Abriak / Claire Alary / Mouhamadou Amar / David Bulteel / Frédéric Becquart / Morgan Chabannes / Marie-France Lacrampe / Eric Lafranche / Emmanuel Lemelin / Walid Maherzi / Agnès Zambon / Rachid Zentar