In this episode, Pete and Mike spoke with Cathy Bell from i-SPACE – the latest innovative research project by Swansea University.
i-SPACE is an acronym, which stands for “Innovative Steel Processing Accelerating the Circular Economy”. In layman’s terms, they aim to develop an industrial-scale end-of-life material shredding and sorting facility for the UK steel industry, supporting the work towards zero-waste and the elimination of down-cycling.
Cathy is the project manager for this WEFO- and ERDF-funded project, with a background of over 30 years in the metal industry, and she shared her insight into the project and the future of metal recycling.
Amongst other things, they talk about:
- Who are i-SPACE
- The reason we need an advanced recycling pilot plant
- Why recycling should is the forth best option for steel products behind Re Use, Repair or Remanufacture
- The current issues surrounding the recycling of end of life components
- Contamination, and how this can cause additional costs for steel makers
- The circular economy across the complete steel supply chain
- Net Zero in the Steel Industry
- What TRL (Technology Readiness Levels) is, and who is involved in the project
- When do we think we MAY see a project plant, and what is it likely to cost
- Landfill of precious metals and how we can change the throwaway culture
- The change from Linear to a Circular Economy
- The current UK recycling infrastructure
- Who will be able to access the research, development and design at the pilot plant
- The future of the UK Steel industry, and how it is positioned globally.
- STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
- How Cathy got into the steel industry, and her early career
- Not making any career mistakes 😉
- Taking on a contract position after being in full time employment
To find out more about the i-SPACE project, take a look at the following links: