Circular Economy, Environment, and Sustainable Chemical Industry
We must move towards a fully sustainable and circular economy by 2050. This calls for reusing materials, working on a cleaner environment, and reducing CO2 emissions. At TNO, we are developing applications and measures to achieve this.
The goal of the Dutch climate agreement is 49% less CO2 emissions in 2030 compared to 1990. This is only an intermediate step on the road to 2050. According to the Paris Climate Accords, global warming must then be limited to 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius. By contributing to the climate plans, we at TNO are making a case for these ambitious goals.
Coherence within and between systems
Environment and sustainability problems do not respect borders of time and place. Harmful substances that we emit here can affect people on the other side of the world. And resources that we use now will never be available for future generations. That is why solutions for today and the future require an understanding of how the systems behind them affect each other.
At TNO, we are therefore looking at the coherence within and between systems, so that the climate or environmental gains we achieve in one area do not come at the expense of climate or environmental gains in another area. In doing so, we oversee the systems at various levels, from the sustainable living environment to factory emissions.
In a circular economy, there is no waste and resources are reused over and over again. At TNO, we are working on applications to achieve a fully circular economy by 2050. This is based on the idea that cities are not just for living, but also serve as a huge storehouse of reusable materials. For example, we are working on technologies to make new plastics from discarded plastics. And we are also developing ways to make construction more sustainable.
With technical, social, and economic expertise, we help governments and businesses on their way to becoming more sustainable. By taking a comprehensive look at the possibilities and in collaboration with the various disciplines within TNO, we find the appropriate answer to every question, whether it is a policy dilemma or a technological challenge.
Environment and climate
To achieve a healthy environment, we build models and sensors that map the quality of the living environment and industrial safety. For example, sensors that measure specific substances in the groundwater or air, such as particulate matter from traffic, emissions from agriculture, and microplastics. We also build monitoring networks to detect sources of nuisance, such as noise pollution.
For the climate, we are developing models to measure the Paris Accords and to get on top of climate change. Where are greenhouse gases created, how do they develop, and what can governments and companies do about them?
We study harmful emissions in the air with the help of satellite measurements. And for use on the ground, we make models and small sensors that measure and predict exposure to particulate matter and greenhouse gases.
Sustainable chemical industry
What resources do you use to create a product, how do you produce it, and what do you use it for? At TNO, we believe it is important to make the entire value chain sustainable. With innovative research in public-private partnerships, we are therefore committed to making the chemical industry and the products it produces more sustainable.
This will lead to other resources and make the chemical industry less dependent on polluting energy sources. And we help develop manufacturing processes with higher yields and less waste.
Ambitions for a circular economy
Nobody knows exactly what the future will bring, but there is the end goal of a circular economy by 2050. So we have a number of ambitions:
- To reduce CO2 emissions in the Netherlands
- To reuse more raw materials
- To reduce exhaust fumes
- To use 30% less new materials in construction
- To employ recycling technologies for circular plastics
Annemieke van de RunstraatFunctie:Project Manager
Relying on her background in chemical engineering, Annemieke has over 20 years’ experience in coordinating and setting up experimental verification programmes and conducting research in a wide range of complex environments. Her broad professional knowledge, combined with her inner drive and natural organisational and people skills, make Annemieke the supporting lifeline for many technological developments.
Ardi DortmansFunctie:Director of Science
“Wouldn't it be nice if we had to explain to our grandchildren what garbage is?”. Ardi Dortmans is director of science at Circular Economy & Environment. Both inside and outside TNO he links research to what society needs. In this way, the research field is always moving.
Caroli BuitenhuisFunctie:Expert bioplastics packaging and products
Caroli works on sustainable change for global issues around packaging, plastics and microplastics. As a professional packaging expert, she understands the complex chains of packaging. As a bioplastics expert, she works on new sustainable concepts for packaging and products that fit within the circular economy worldwide. To this end, she works closely with all links in the value chain: from sourcing a raw material to recycling into new raw material.
Bioplastics, Biobased plastics, Biowaste plastics, Circular Plastics, Circular Economy.
Erlend DeckersFunctie:Program manager circular value creation
Esther van den BeukenFunctie:Clustermanager
Esther is committed to accelerating the transition towards using circular plastics and has a clear vision on how to reach those goals. Her work on complex issues requires her to collaborate intensively with small and large companies across the whole value chain, as well as with national and European inter-branch organisations and government agencies.
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MaterialsNL Strategic Autonomy National Research Agenda
The energy transition is consuming enormous quantities of already scarce critical raw materials including lithium, cobalt and rare earths. Raw materials shortages are only just starting, the geopolitical implications are already being felt, as are the appeals to our morality: how do we relate to the earth and the growth paradigm?