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ReMade@ARI – a hub for materials development for recycling comes to life


The European research infrastructure project ReMade@ARI, focused on leveraging the development of innovative and sustainable materials, starts today. The ESRF is one of the 50 research institutes participating in this project, under the leadership of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).

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The European Union’s (EU) Circular Economy Action Plan estimates that up to 80% of a product’s environmental impact is determined during the design phase. The project ReMade@ARI fosters a comprehensive approach across the design chain to adopt and explore disruptive mechanisms to generate products as well as to reuse, repair and remanufacture within the production process, by leveraging the development of innovative, sustainable materials for key components in sectors such as electronics, batteries, vehicles, construction, packaging, plastics, textiles and food on an unprecedented level. The project is funded by the EU with a budget of 13.8 million euros and it will run for four years.

In order to meet the challenge of designing new materials that are both competitively functional and highly recyclable, researchers will use 50 analytical research infrastructures of the European European analytical research institute network (ARIE), including the ESRF.

The ReMade@ARI platform will be the central hub for all research areas linked to new materials for a circular economy. “We will provide the scientific community with analytical tools that enable them to explore the structure of the materials in the smallest details, up to the atomic resolution. This requires the exploitation of the most diverse analytical methods, including the use of synchrotrons and XFEL, neutron sources, electron microscopes, lasers, ion and positron beams, and high magnetic field facilities,” says Stefan Facsko, the project’s scientific coordinator.

The project will provide guidelines to scientists who are not familiar with research infrastructures so far. “We will offer them an all-round service, closely collaborating with them to identify the relevant properties to be analysed in order to develop the optimum material for a particular purpose. Based on that, the most suitable research infrastructures to measure these properties will be identified from among the pool of Europe’s unique facilities”.

ESRF participates in ReMade@ARI with its high-energy, high-coherence materials science beamlines ID11, ID15A, ID22, ID31, BM05, ID01, ID13 and ID19. These beamlines will enable in-situ sudies and characterisation of materials through techniques such as tomography and X-ray diffraction. In addition, two scientists will be recruited at the ESRF for the project. “At the ESRF we are very proud of being part of ReMade@ARI, and we expect the project to have a major impact within the context of circular economy, which makes use of strategies to eliminate waste, lower material and resource consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions“,  explains Gema Martínez-Criado, director of research at the ESRF.

The ESRF will also offer opportunities tailored to the needs of industry, both large companies and SMEs. Large companies will be able to collaborate with an RTO (Research and Technology Organisation) for access to a facility for intricate measurements, capitalising on the RTO’s expertise to design apparatus and experiments. For SMEs the approach is different, with rapid access targeting test and exploratory experiments as a proof of concept, and with provision of assistance from research infrastructures’ scientists during experiments and data analysis.