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SKZ develops software tool for lightweight plastic components to optimize environmental impacts

The aim of the SuLiCo (Sustainable Lightweight Construction) research project is to optimize the CO₂ balance, resource efficiency and recyclability of lightweight plastic components by developing and disseminating a database-supported software tool.

June 7, 2023
Projekt SuLiCo

In the future, the SuLiCo software tool will help with decisions to manufacture environmentally friendly plastic components and use them in a resource-saving manner. (Photo: SKZ)

Influences on environmental impacts are to be identified and adjusted as early as the design and construction phase

With the framing European Green Deal and the resulting EU regulations, as well as adjustments in national legislation aimed at slowing the advancing climate crisis, the requirements for products are also becoming more stringent. Already in the design and construction phase, decisions are made that have a major impact on the environmental and resource performance in the manufacturing, use and disposal phases of products. Currently, decisions that affect the key performance indicators concerned, such as CO₂ footprint, recyclability, CO₂ sequestration or resource efficiency, rarely take a holistic view of these environmental impact indicators. Particularly in the case of lightweight plastic products, these can reveal a conflict of objectives when considered over the entire life cycle, which can be resolved with alternative scenarios in the design and construction phase.
 
In the SuLiCo research project, a software tool is being developed at the German Plastics Center SKZ in collaboration with the participating cooperation partners, which is intended to show developers this conflict of objectives and can also test alternative scenarios. For this purpose, the needs of the industry are precisely determined in an extensive process and the evaluation methodology for the environmental performance of lightweight plastic products is developed on the basis of existing norms and standards. After software implementation, the tool will be made freely available to potential users in a target group-specific roll-out program. At the end of the project, the result will be presented to a broad public and in particular to the user target group. Interested companies that would like to be involved as additional associated partners in this research project can contact Julius Ort, climate manager at SKZ.
 
The SuLiCo project with the funding code 03LB3084A is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection as part of the Technology Transfer Program Lightweight Construction based on a resolution of the German Bundestag.

The cooperation partners
SKZ, the Würzburg-based company va-Q-tec and the Bremen-based sustainability consultancy brands & values are contributing their expertise in environmental impact assessment, tool development and lightweight product development to the research project. The evaluation accompanying the development by a broad consortium of associated partners, a heterogeneous group of potential users of the software tool to be developed, ensures the future user-friendliness of the tool.
 

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Contact Person:

Julius Ort
Scientist | Climate Manager | Sustainability and Circular Economy
Würzburg
j.ort@skz.de

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