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A Novel Web-tool for the Assessment of Materials Recovery and Recycling Projects Aligned with UNFC

The current challenges in our society regarding digital, energy, and circular economy transition have made the recycling and recovery of materials from waste streams a hot topic since they have the potential to provide part of the materials required to meet the challenges. Evaluating the sustainability of a project is also crucial, which usually involves a number of requirements for the project. In this regard, the classification of projects is key to the development of secondary raw materials (SRMs) recovery and recycling projects, including their proper management. The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) is a unique tool to assess all types of resources on the same principle notably projects related to the supply of Critical Raw Materials and SRMs from primary and anthropogenic resources. It considers the level of confidence in the quantity of products obtained, their technical feasibility, and their environmental-social-economic viability. Hence, it can be used as a decision-support tool on company, regional, and national levels.

This paper presents a web-based tool developed for the assessment of SRMs to determine, among other things, the maturity level of SRM recovery projects in accordance with the UNFC. The development process of the web-based tool will be discussed, including its design, features, and functionalities. An example is provided to show how the tool can be used to assess different types of secondary raw materials, highlighting its potential benefits for the circular economy.


Iman Dorri1, Bhagya Jayasinghe1, Alireza Sobouti1, Soraya Heuss-Aßbichler1
1Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Germany
GeoBerlin 2023