Organization of the 2nd International Debate on the LIFE EMU NEW Project (Porto 2019)

On 26 February 2019, at the Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (Higher Institute of Engineering in Porto) an international debate was held devoted to issues related to the implementation of the Project entitled “Proecological pilot plant for the production of bitumen emulsions modified with waste polymer nanostructures (LIFE EMU NEW).
The following persons participated in the debate on behalf of Flukar Sp. z o.o.:
1. Grzegorz Nieradka, Deputy Technical Project Coordinator
2. Dariusz Żłobiński, Technological Process Specialist
3. Małgorzata Miernik, Project Implementation Monitoring Specialist
4. Artur Praisnar, Head of the Production Plant in Kędzierzyn-Koźle.
Before the debate Małgorzata Miernik discussed the assumptions of the LIFE Program as the only financial instrument of the European Union devoted exclusively to projects in the field of environmental and climate protection. The next speaker was the Deputy Technical Project Coordinator.
During the debate, two papers were delivered:
1. Innovative technology for the production of double-modified bitumen emulsions in the development policy of Flukar Sp. z o.o., Grzegorz Nieradka, Technical Deputy Project Coordinator, II International Debate, Portugal, Porto, 26 February 2019
2. Polymer waste management during production of innovative, double-modified asphalt emulsion, Dariusz Żłobiński, Technological Process Specialist
The first speech discussed the market for plastics and polymer waste in Poland. Next, attention was paid to the innovative aspect of the LIFE EMU NEW Project under implementation, discussing selected issues from research reports prepared by the Cracow University of Technology. The mechanism of producing polymer nanofibers was presented in detail, presenting the diagram of the electrospinning station. The participants of the debate were also acquainted with the schematic diagram of the pilot installation for the production of double-modified bitumen emulsions. The Deputy Project Coordinator discussed in detail the process at its individual technological nodes. Also photographs depicting the construction and unloading of installation elements were presented. The schematic summary of the organization and vision of the development policy of the Flukar company being the beneficiary of the LIFE Program arouse much interest among the participants of the debate. The main idea, i.e. transforming waste into a full-value product, reflects the authentic implementation of the policy of sustainable development and the idea of a circular economy. Numerical values and parameters were also presented, which are proof of the pro-ecological efficiency of the technological solution. Finally, the benefits for road engineering were discussed and a summary was made regarding all the discussed issues.
The second paper presented the global development of the plastics industry and compared the level of polymer waste management in Poland and the European Union. The basic legal acts regulating the functioning of industries dealing with the waste market were also mentioned. Particular attention had been paid to various types of waste recycling, discussing in turn materials recycling, recycling and energy recycling. The currently used modifiers of asphalt binders were discussed, characteristic for their excellent parameters, but their drawback is the method of production in high-energy, and therefore non-ecological, petrochemical processes. Finally, the functioning of the liquefaction, purification and modification of waste polymers was discussed due to the necessity for commissioning the Cracow University of Technology a development in the field of specifying parameters.
The debate was attended by dozens of people, mainly students, academic teachers and representatives of RECTUS, VINCO and FLUKAR. Following the presentation of papers, a lively discussion arouse debating the potential of the technological solution proposed by Flukar. The participants paid attention to the ecological aspect of the solution, but they also became interested in the innovative elements, i.e. the node for the production of polymer nanofibers and the use of nanosilica to modify the waste polymer.