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An Italian national research body is currently running a research program focused on the technical, economic and legal feasibility of a national management system for end-of-life boats.
The research center is looking for the best available technologies for the treatment and valorization of Glass Reinforced Plastics (GRP) from boats for technical and research cooperation. The program also foresees the setting up of a pilot treatment center to be located in the Italian North East coast.
The program, co-ordinated by a national research centre in collaboration with an innovative private company, is aiming to design and set up a national system for the management of EoL-End of Life boats- (with a length between 10 and 24 meters) encompassing the best recovery treatments for the Glass Reinforced Plastics (GRP) arising from the dismissed boat hulls.
The disposal of boats is a big environmental problem in Italy as the GRP (which represents around 60% of the boat weight) is currently disposed of in landfills or incinerated. Pollution, anyway is only a face of the medal, as the innovative treatments of the disposed of materials could generate profitable new markets with new promising business lines and good jobs in line with the well-know circular economy paradigm.
Within the program, the national research body is looking for pilot (or still consolidated) technologies to recover energy and to produce new secondary raw materials from the disposed of fiberglass.
Preliminary market analysis research has shown that the resins and the fiber-glasses extracted could be effectively reused in primary manufacturing processes.
They offer cooperation agreements with bodies and companies interested in participating in the research program offering solutions as well as willing to act as partners in the development of a pilot treatment center in the Italian North East Adriatic coast.
The new solutions required for the treatment of Glass Reinforced Plastics (GRP) includes the following technology areas: 1) mechanical recycling; 2) thermal recycling, including fluidized bed and pyrolysis; 3) chemical recycling and solvolysis using critical conditions.
The research body is looking for the best available technologies for the treatment and valorization of Glass Reinforced Plastics (GRP) from boats, including:
-technology developed on a pilot level (6≤TRL≤ 7):
technical requirements (temperature, size, weight..), first data about the quality of the output, industrial scale-up costs;
-technology developed on an industrial level(TRL>7): input and output quantities expressed in kg or tonnes, the average cost of the plant realization, technical requirements (temperature, size, weight..), the size of the plant.
Companies and research bodies specialized in material treatments, as partners of the research program.