• 16 February 2021

    Tondo Lab

    Versione Italiano Il clima sta cambiando e tali cambiamenti stanno avendo forti impatti su biodiversità, ecosistemi, nonché sulla salute e sul benessere umano. Limitare l’aumento della temperatura globale ad 1.5°C è un obiettivo che deve essere raggiunto per contenere i possibili disastri ambientali, quali forti precipitazioni, prolungati periodi di siccità o i rischi associati allo stress idrico. Il report del 2018 del Panel Intergovernativo sul Cambiamento Climatico (IPCC) dimostra che l’aumento della temperatura globale di 2°C al di sopra dei livelli preindustriali porterebbe a conseguenze devastanti. Per contenere i rischi legati all’aumento delle temperature è richiesto uno sforzo collettivo che acceleri le azioni di contrasto del cambiamento climatico. E’ infatti necessario integrare in maniera consistente il percorso verso un’economia circolare, passo fondamentale verso il raggiungimento degli obiettivi climatici. L’economia circolare offre una risposta sistemica alla crisi climatica riducendo le emissioni e aumentando la resilienza. I vantaggi derivanti da questo cambio di paradigma, inoltre, comprendono il raggiungimento di altri obiettivi come la creazione di città più vivibili, la re-distribuzione della ricchezza e lo stimolo all’innovazione.  All’interno del Green Deal europeo è stato infatti realizzato anche un piano d’azione per l’Economia Circolare. Il piano presenta nuove iniziative lungo tutto il ciclo di vita dei prodotti al fine di modernizzare e trasformare la nostra economia nel rispetto dell’ambiente. Affrontare quindi la sfida del passaggio verso una società ad impatto ambientale zero sarà cruciale nei prossimi anni di ricostruzione dell’economia post-Covid: ci sarà una crescente attenzione alla valutazione della circolarità delle aziende e alle aziende sarà chiesto di trovare modi innovativi per contribuire attivamente all’implementazione dell’economia circolare. Partendo da queste constatazioni, il team di Tondo ha deciso di creare Tondo lab, con l’obiettivo di accelerare la trasformazione delle aziende in un’ottica circolare. Tondo lab semplifica i percorsi di queste verso l’economia circolare affinando la...
  • 12 February 2021

    CE and Lithium-ion Batteries

    English Version By Alessandro Innocenti, Tondo Associate and PhD student at Helmholtz Institute Ulm A Circular Future for Energy Storage The lithium-ion battery is the key technology that is allowing the widespread adoption of electric vehicles,portable electronic devices, and renewable energy storage.Every year, an increasing number of batteries are put into the market: we passed from an installed capacity of 200 GWh of 2014 to more than 700 GWh in 2019, with a forecast of about 8000 GWh by 2030. This also means that more and more batteries will have to be retired every year after their use in one of the mentioned applications. In fact, lithium-ion batteries must be replaced after a certain time, since they show a decrease of the performances caused by inevitable chemical degradation reactions. Spent batteries can be directly sent to recycling for the material recovery, but the economic sustainability of lithium-ion battery recycling strongly depends on the presence of precious metals as cobalt (which is getting phased out for its toxicity) and nickel inside. This is the preferred route for the batteries used in consumer electronics and personal mobility systems, which are usually quite small and with a lower quality if compared to other possible applications. In fact, stricter requirements for batteries are present in the electric vehicle industry, because of the high standards in terms of autonomy and of power set by the manufacturers to be competitive with classic vehicles. Moreover, these standards must be assured for a long time, since no one wants that after one year or two from the purchase, the electric car makes 10-20% less kilometres with each “refill”. In the industry, the common threshold for the end of life of a lithium-ion battery is when it retains 80% of the initial capacity or power. The actual time needed...
  • 15 January 2021

    Industrial Ecology and CE

    Industrial Ecology: A foundation for envisioning and measuring the Circular Economy transition By Shyaam Ramkumar – Tondo Associate English Version The concept of a circular economy has been quickly gaining momentum in recent years. Many local and national governments, companies from startups to SMEs to multinational corporations, and a growing number of NGOs such as Tondo are driving the push for a transformation of our current economic model towards one that is more circular, regenerative, and resilient. However, the theoretical and conceptual foundations of the circular economy have a much longer history. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation lists seven different schools of thought that make up the basic tenets of the circular economy, one of which is Industrial Ecology. Industrial Ecology became a prominent concept with the publication of an article by Robert Frosch and Nicholas Gallopoulos in Scientific American titled “Strategies for Manufacturing”. In the article, Frosch and Gallopoulos conceptualize how industrial systems could behave more like ecological systems. Similar to the symbiotic relationships found in nature where wastes of one species are resources for another, they pondered how outputs and wastes from one industry could be inputs into another industry. The field has since evolved to encompass a set of tools and methods that can help transform value chains across cities, regions, and countries to become more circular. These tools and methods can provide a foundation for envisioning and measuring the circular economy transition. Life Cycle Analysis One of the main methods within Industrial Ecology is Life Cycle Analysis, or LCA. Using the LCA methodology, enables the assessment of the environmental impacts across the whole lifecycle of a product, process, or service. The methodology creates a detailed inventory of all the resources, energy, and materials required from extraction and processing to the production, distribution, use, and disposal of the...
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