Publications

  • Abstract

    Abstract
    The rapid growth of market share of Electrical Vehicles (EVs) and their increasing amount of electric and electronic components have introduced difficult challenges for future recycling of such vehicles. End of Life Vehicles (ELVs), together with Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), are renowned as an important source of secondary raw materials. In addition, a significant proportion of the hidden value at the End-of-Life (EoL) of the EVs is embedded in the light fractions containing complex material mixtures, i.e. the management of electronic components that has been rarely considered in the scientific literature. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap through the use of an innovative disassembly approach to identify the profitability of recycling such electronic components. The novel approach, based on the utilisation of a robotic system, disassembles and extracts Strategically Important Materials (SIMs) from EV components, thereby improving the concentration of these materials prior to final recycling and refining processes. This paper presents the challenges in the robotic disassembly of Electrical and Electronic (E&E) components. A case study has also been included to demonstrate that an average 95% of the materials and their associated recovery value could be achieved.
     
     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    Polymers are ubiquitous in modern manufactured products. The potential detrimental impacts of their end-of-life disposal have stimulated significant increases in recycling rates. Recyclate purity is paramount; however this must be achieved with a positive net energy balance. Existing technologies for identification and separation of polymers are often both expensive and energy intensive. This paper investigates Infrared (IR) imaging to extract information on thermal properties of various product polymers within a recycling line. An intelligent decision making support system is enabled using neural network based pattern recognition for automatic polymer identification and classification. Potential energy savings versus current technologies are discussed.

    SMART authors: Elliot Woolley , Alessandro Simeone

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  • Abstract

    Over the past two decades there has been a rapid growth in tanning and leather manufacturing in developing countries, an undesirable by-product of this is an increase in waste associated with leather products. End-of-life management options for leather products are often limited to incineration or landfill; these carry a range of environmentally damaging impacts. This indicates a need for an urgent diversion towards material recycling in order to prevent further environmental degradation. This paper investigates a number of interdependent and complex challenges in implementation of a circular economy approach within leather industry. These challenges range from achieving economy of scale required for commercial viability and finding secondary markets for the recycled materials to developing ‘resource efficient recycling processes’ that are especially tailored to the specific needs of leather products.
     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Tegan Pringle

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  • Abstract

    Barwood, M., Li, J., Pringle, T., and Rahimifard, S., 2015, Utilisation of reconfigurable recycling systems for improved value recovery from e-waste, 22nd CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering, Sydney, Australia.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Jie Li , Michael Barwood , Tegan Pringle

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  • Abstract

    Electric Vehicles (EVs) are now seen as one of future solutions for sustainable transportation, and therefore their market share is annually increasing. However, due to their more sophisticated technologies and complex material mixture, EVs cannot efficiently be recycled using existing automotive recycling facilities. This paper presents the challenges involved in recycling EVs, and describes a systematic framework for developing an automated approach for disassembly and recycling of EV components. The initial results from application of such automated approach to disassembly of EV have also been presented.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    The use of automated product recycling based upon fragmentation and separation processes is rapidly increasing due to the high economic feasibility. Air-classifiers are key low-cost technologies employed in these processes; however their efficiency can be highly variable due to inhomogeneous particle sizes as separation largely relies upon the difference in particle terminal velocity. In this paper a pulsing aircolumn classifier is introduced in which particles are constantly accelerated and decelerated to provide higher separation efficiency regardless of particle sizes. Experimentation with inhomogeneous granulated leather, foam and rubber from footwear waste products demonstrates a separation improvement of 10–25% compared to existing technologies and ability to reclaim rubber with above 90% purity.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • An Air-Based Automated Material Recycling System for Postconsumer Footwear Products 2012, Journal of Resources Conservation and Recycling

    Abstract

    The worldwide consumption of footwear is estimated to be in excess of 20 billion pairs of shoes per year. To date very little work has been done to develop material recycling solutions for mixed footwear products. In fact less than 5% of end-of-life shoes are being recycled, with most being disposed of in landfill sites around the globe. One of the primary reasons is that most modern footwear products contain a complex mixture of leather, rubber, textile, polymers and metallic materials, that makes it difficult to perform complete separation and reclamation of material streams in an economically sustainable manner. This paper discusses the development of an economically feasible automated material recycling process for mixed postconsumer footwear waste. Central to this process are bespoke air-based separation technologies that separate granulated shoe particles based upon the difference in size and weight. Experimental studies with three different types of postconsumer footwear products show that it is possible to reclaim four usable material streams; leathers, textiles, foams and rubbers. For each of the reclaimed materials there are a vareity of applications such as surfacing materials, insulation boards and underlay products. 

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Development of an Economically Sustainable Recycling Process for the Footwear Sector 2010, Proceedings of the 17th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE10)

    Abstract

    The worldwide consumption of footwear is estimated to be in excess of 20 billion pairs of shoes per year.
    At present less than 5% of these are recycled or reused, with most being disposed of in landfill sites around
    the world. In fact, the majority of current footwear recycling schemes are led by charitable organisations, for
    the purpose of reusing the shoes in developing countries. However, not all of the collected shoes are
    deemed suitable for reuse, with a sizeable amount of these old shoes more suited for material recycling
    due to their poor conditions. Material recycling of footwear products is however a challenging problem with
    most modern shoes containing a complex mixture of rubber, textile, polymers and metallic materials.
    Furthermore due to the relatively low value of recoverable materials, the cost of the shoe recycling
    processes has to be kept to a minimum. This paper discusses a four step methodology that has been
    developed to create a market driven material recycling approach for footwear products. A key point
    presented in the paper is that for products with relativity low hidden value at end-of-life such as footwear
    product, it is not presently economically feasible to obtain recycled materials that can compete with virgin
    materials in the market place. Therefore, for footwear products a more realistic level of material recycling is
    proposed, using commercially available automated recycling technologies, with the reclaimed materials
    limited to a range of down-cycled, yet useful and viable applications.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    Ongoing development of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology coincides with a rapid increase in legislation aiming to control the environmental impacts of products across their life cycle. A risk-based method is used to explore the potential future impacts of this body of legislation on the technology. Legislation controlling the use of hazardous materials is one area of significance. Under the new European REACH Regulation some nickel compounds, used widely throughout general industry but also in the fabrication of anode structures, may fall under the classification of a substance of very high concern (SVHC) in future, which presents a risk of restrictions being placed on their continued use. This risk must drive the development of alternative anode materials, or requires the SOFC industry to identify a socio-economic argument justifying exemption from any future restrictions. A legislative trend establishing recycling requirements for end-of-life products is also identified as having a potential future impact on the technology. Recycling strategies for SOFC products must be considered, prior to commercialisation. It is proposed that failure to meet these future environmental requirements may be detrimental to the perception of SOFC technology, the demand for which is substantially driven by the environmental benefits offered over incumbent power generation technologies. The consideration of these issues in the design of commercial products will mitigate this risk.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Opportunities for Bio-Polymer Resource Conservation Through Closed Loop Recycling 2009, Proceedings of GPEC 2010 on Sustainability & Recycling: Raising the Bar in Today's Economy

    Abstract

    Oil-derived plastics have become well established as a packaging material over the past 75 years due to their many technical and commercial advantages. However, the disposal of plastic packaging waste, a large proportion of which still goes to landfill, continues to raise increasing environmental concerns. Meanwhile, the price of oil continues to rise as demand outstrips supply. In response, biodegradable polymers made from renewable resources have risen to greater prominence, with a variety of materials currently being developed from plant starch, cellulose, sugars and proteins. Whilst the polymer science continues apace, the real ecological impacts and benefits of these materials remain uncertain. Although life cycle assessment (LCA) has been used to provide comparisons with oil-derived plastics, published studies are often limited in scope, allowing the validity of their conclusions to be challenged. The literature appears to support the popular assumption that the end-of-life management of these materials requires little consideration, since their biodegradable properties provide inherent ecological benefits. Opportunities for conserving resources through the recycling of biopolymers are rarely addressed. Through a review of current academic, industrial and commercial progress in the field of biopolymers, a number of LCA case studies are proposed which will address this weakness in existing research, related to the recycling of biopolymers. These, or similar, studies are required to provide a more complete picture of the potential effects of a transition from non-renewable to renewable polymers, thus allowing material selection decisions to be made with greater confidence throughout the packaging supply chain.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , James Colwill

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  • Abstract

    Ongoing development of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology coincides with a rapid increase in legislation aiming to control the environmental impacts of products across their life cycle. A risk-based method is used to explore the potential future impacts of this body of legislation on the technology. Legislation controlling the use of hazardous materials is one area of significance. Under the new European REACH Regulation some nickel compounds, used widely throughout general industry but also in the fabrication of anode structures, may fall under the classification of a substance of very high concern (SVHC) in future, which presents a risk of restrictions being placed on their continued use. This risk must drive the development of alternative anode materials, or requires the SOFC industry to identify a socio-economic argument justifying exemption from any future restrictions. A legislative trend establishing recycling requirements for end-of-life products is also identified as having a potential future impact on the technology. Recycling strategies for SOFC products must be considered, prior to commercialisation. It is proposed that failure to meet these future environmental requirements may be detrimental to the perception of SOFC technology, the demand for which is substantially driven by the environmental benefits offered over incumbent power generation technologies. The consideration of these issues in the design of commercial products will mitigate this risk.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    The ever-increasing amount of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has become a common problem due to the significant environmental and health impacts associated with inappropriate End-of-Life (EoL) management. The current ad hoc applications of WEEE recycling are often based on limited knowledge and cannot cope with the complex range of materials and products in such waste. A knowledge-based approach has been utilised to investigate the realisation of a recycling process planner which aims to determine the most suitable EoL options for WEEE. A number of case studies have been used to show that a 20–30% improvement on economical and environmental performance could be achieved through adoption of such a systematic approach to recycling process planning.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Barriers, Drivers, and Challenges for Sustainable Product Recovery and Recycling 2009, Special issue of International Journal of Sustainable Engineering

    Abstract

    There has been a significant growth in research and applications of product recovery and recycling over the last two decades, in particular with the view of recent product take-back legislation which has extended the responsibility of manufacturers to include the recovery and safe disposal of their products. However, at present, the global scale of product recovery applications is significantly disproportional to the total manufacturing output. Hence, to achieve the idealistic goal of ‘zero landfill’, there is a need to significantly improve and extend both the scale of product recovery activities and the range of manufacturing applications in which such activities have yet to be implemented. This paper examines a range of barriers, drivers and challenges in research and development for the next generation of product recovery initiatives. A range of existing applications and case studies undertaken for the UK market has been used to analyse issues related to: the need for improvement and expansion of current legislation on producer responsibility; product take-back and reverse logistic models for collection of used products; knowledge-based approaches for end-of-life considerations during the design phase; improved technologies and increased automation in pre- and post-fragmentation recycling processes and most importantly, the requirement for sustainable business models for establishing value recovery chains which can be based on the provision of services rather than products. The paper concludes by summarising the results of this analysis to bridge the gap between existing and future sustainable solutions for product recovery.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Analytical Methods for Waste Minimisation in the Convenience Food Industry 2009, International Journal of Integrated Waste Management

    Abstract

    Waste creation in some sectors of the food industry is substantial, and while much of the used material is non-hazardous and biodegradable, it is often poorly dealt with and simply sent to landfill mixed with other types of waste. In this context, overproduction wastes were found in a number of cases to account for 20-40% of the material wastes generated by convenience food manufacturers (such as ready-meals and sandwiches), often simply just to meet the challenging demands placed on the manufacturer due to the short order reaction time provided by the supermarkets. Identyfying specific classes of waste helps to minimise their creation, through consideration of what the materials constitute and why they were generated. This paper aims to provide means by which food industry wastes can be identified, and demonstrate these mechanisms through a practical example. The research reported in this paper investigated the various categories of waste and generated three analytical methods for the support of waste minimisation activities by food maufacturers. The waste classficiations and analyses are intended to complement exisiting waste minimisation approaches and are described through consideration of a case study convenience manufacturer that realised significant financial savings through waste measurement analysis and reduction. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Modelling of Post-Fragmentation Waste Stream Processing Within UK Shredder Facilities, 2009, International Journal of Integrated Waste Management

    Abstract

    With the introduction of producer responsibility legislation within the UK (i.e waste electrical and electronic equipment directive and end-of-life vehicles directive), specific recycling and recovery targets have been imposed to improve the sustainability of end-of-life products. With the introduction of these targets, and the increases investment in pos-fragmentation facilities, automated material separation technologies are playing an integral role within the UK's end-of-life waste management strategy. Post-fragmentation facilities utilise a range of purification technologies that target certain material attributes (e.g. density, magnetism, volume) to isolate materials from the shredded waste stream. High ferrous prices have historically meant that UK facilities have been primarily interested in recovering iron and steel, establishing processing routes that are very effective at removing these material types, but as a consequence are extremely rigid and inflexible. With the proliferation of more exotic materials within end-of-life products, combined with more stringent recycling targets, there is therefore a need to optimise the current aste reclamation processes to better realise effort-to-value returns. 

    This paper provides a background as to the current post-fragmentation processing adopted within the UK, and describes the development of a post-fragmentation modelling approach, capable of simulating the value-added processing that a piece of automated separation equipment can have on a fragmented waste stream. These include the modelling of the inefficiences of the technology, the effects of material entanglement on separation, determination of typical material sizing and an appreciation for compositional value. The implementation of this approach within a software decision-suuport system is described, before the limitations, calibration and further validation of the approach are discussed. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • KEYNOTE PAPER: Barriers, Drivers and Challenges for Sustainable Product Recovery and Recycling 2008, Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing (FAIM 2008)

    Abstract

    There has been a significant growth in research and applications of product recovery and recycling over the last two decades, in particular with the view of recent product take-back legislation which has extended the responsibility of manufacturers to include the recovery and safe disposal of their products. However, at present, the global scale of product recovery applications is significantly disproportional to the total manufacturing output. Hence, to achieve the idealistic goal of ‘zero landfill’, there is a need to significantly improve and extend both the scale of product recovery activities and the range of manufacturing applications in which such activities have yet to be implemented. This paper examines a range of barriers, drivers and challenges in research and development for the next generation of product recovery initiatives. A range of existing applications and case studies undertaken for the UK market has been used to analyse issues related to: the need for improvement and expansion of current legislation on producer responsibility; product take-back and reverse logistic models for collection of used products; knowledge-based approaches for end-of-life considerations during the design phase; improved technologies and increased automation in pre- and post-fragmentation recycling processes and most importantly, the requirement for sustainable business models for establishing value recovery chains which can be based on the provision of services rather than products. The paper concludes by summarising the results of this analysis to bridge the gap between existing and future sustainable solutions for product recovery.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    Technological innovation and shorter product life cycles of electrical and electronic equipment coupled with their rapidly growing applications have resulted in the generation of an enormous amount of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). To address the potential environmental problems that could stem from improper end‐of‐life management of WEEE, many countries have drafted national legislation to improve the reuse, remanufacture and material recycling from WEEE, and to reduce the amount of such waste going to landfills. With the introduction of such legislation comes an increased need for the recovery operators to evaluate the recycling costs and environmental benefits of reclaimed products and materials in order to select the most appropriate end‐of‐life options for individual products in WEEE. This paper presents a systematic methodology for ecological and economical assessment to provide a holistic understanding of the impacts associated with different end‐of‐life options for such waste. This assessment, in addition to providing decision‐support for the selection of the best possible end‐of‐life option for a particular product in WEEE, could also generate vital information to support the design and material selection processes during the initial product development activities. The assertion made is that the detailed considerations of the ecological and economical impacts associated with different end‐of‐life options will significantly improve the recovery and recycling of WEEE.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • An Integrated Framework for Planning of Recycling Activities in Electrical and Electronic Sector 2008, International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing

    Abstract

    In Europe 7.3 million tonnes of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) were created in 2002, and the fact that growth rate of WEEE is 3-5% per annum with a significant amount of this waste used to be dumped into landfills without any pre-treatment, has resulted in the introduction of European WEEE directive. The directive requires companies who manufacture or import electrical and electronic equipment to take financial and legal responsibility for its environmental-friendly recovery and recycling. The current recycling applications of WEEE are often developed on ad hoc basis and mainly attributable to the hidden economic value within used products. However, at present the recycling facilities are faced with the challenge to improve WEEE recycling activities to ensure that a larger proportion of components and materials are being recovered at a reasonable cost and yet at the same time legislative requirements are being met. A major assertion made in the research reported in this paper is that a systematic framework is needed to aid the decision making involved in adopting the best possible end-of-life strategies for WEEE. The paper presents one such integrated framework for the planning of the processes involved in the recycling of WEEE. Based on this framework a Computer-Aided Recycling Process Planning (CARPP) system which generates bespoke recycling process plans for WEEE has been developed which is also described and its functionality demonstrated using a typical WEEE product. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • A Cost Estimation Framework to Support Increased Value Recovery from End-of-Life Vehicles 2008, International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing

    Abstract

    The imminent introduction of the European Directive relating to the recovery and recycling of two million end-of-life vehicles per annum has resulted in significant developments and changes within the UK vehicles recovery chain. The economic ramifications of this conformance have left many end-of-life stakeholders in a uniquely different market, based on contract negotiations, investment, and very challenging targets. The archaic and reactive nature of the recovery industry has meant that the demands of being part of the extended enterprice have never been present, and as such waste reduction and value improvement have never been major industry concerns. With th introduction of this legislation comes an increased need for the recovery chain to understand the economics of its own operations, to better support any investment or processing decisions within the new market. This paper provides and overview to the stakeholders and their rlelationships within th UK recovery chain, and discusses the development of an end-of-life vehicle costing framework based on the current direct and indirect costs and revenues affecting vehicles retirement, to facilitate increased value recovery to an array of end-of-life operators. Each of the costing techniques adopted or developed within the framework are then further discussed, before the intended industrial applications of the framework is highlighted. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Recycling of Post-Consumer Shoes 2007, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Design and Manufacture for Sustainable Development

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Design Considerations for End-of-Life Vehicles 2007, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Design and Manufacture for Sustainable Development

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Issues and Economics for the UK Vehicle Recovery Sector 2007, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Design and Manufacture for Sustainable Development

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • An End-of-Life Decision Methodology to Support Recycling Practices in the Footwear Industry 2007, Proceedings of the International Society for Industrial Ecology Conference 2007

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • An End-of-Life Model for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recycling 2007, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Design and Manufacture for Sustainable Development

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Environmental Legislation and its Implications Across the Life-Cycle of Stationary Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Systems in Europe 2007, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Design and Manufacture for Sustainable Development

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • An Investigation Into End-of-Life Management of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells 2007, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Life Cycle Management

    Abstract

     

    Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems offer an alternative technology for power generation in stationary plants. The environmental benefits of this technology in the use phase are well understood and stem from improved fuel efficiencies when compared with combustion-based systems. These benefits have driven technology development towards commercialisation. Recent trends in environmental policy have highlighted the need to manage products responsibly throughout their entire life-cycle, including the end-of life (EoL) phase. At present EoL management of SOFC stacks is not well understood and requires consideration prior to market entry. Using the waste management hierarchy as a framework for the development of an EoL strategy a methodology is proposed to move from a reactive approach to a proactive approach. This paper presents results from the initial steps of this methodology. Analysis of existing SOFC stack design has provided an initial definition of the EoL problem. By drawing parallels with EoL problems faced by other more mature product streams and existing waste management solutions, a body of knowledge is built. This knowledge will support the development of a reactive short-term solution to EoL management of SOFC stacks, and will provide input to the longer term development of a proactive approach to minimising the environmental burden of this future waste stream. 

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • End-of-life Management Considerations in the Footwear Industry 2007, Book chapter in Global Footwear Industry and Emerging Trends

    Abstract

    Currently, more than 19 billion pairs of shoes are consumed worldwide every year, and this figure continues to rise. This creates an enormous amount of post-consumer (end-of-life) shoe waste that is currently being disposed in landfill sites around the world. The research reported in this working paper is an initial investigation in realisation of a holistic approach to application of product recovery and recycling in the footwear industry. The paper provides a brief review of the trends in the footwear sector regarding the amount of end-of-life waste produced together with existing reuse and recycling activities. It also presents an integrated waste management framework by combining a mix of design and material improvements as well as reuse, recycling and energy recovery activities and concludes by examining the challenges in establishing end-of-life product recovery procedures for post-consumer shoes.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • A Decision Making Model for Waste Management in Footwear Industry 2007, International Journal of Production Research

    Abstract

    The footwear industry, over the last years, has placed significant effort in improving energy and material efficiency, but in comparison little effort has been directed at the recovery and recycling of shoes at the end of their funtional life. In reality, most worn and discarded (end-of-life) shoes are disposed of in landfills. Producer responsibility issues and forthcoming legislation as well as increasing environmental consumer demands are expected to challenge the way the global footwear industry deal with its end-of-life waste. This paper presents an investigation into the steps required to consider the end-of-life implication of shoes and promote post-consumer recycling practices in the footwear industry. The paper describes the design and specification of a decision-making model to identifiy the most appropriate reuse, recovery and recycling option for post-consumer shoes. Such a tool in addition to supporting design and material selection processes could also provide benchmark information for the selection of a best end-of-life practice for a selected range of shoe types. The paper concludes by providing a case study for shoe wast managemene to demonstrate the practicality of this decision-making model. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Computer Aided Recycling Process Planning for End-of-Life Electrical and Electronic Equipment 2007, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture

    Abstract

    The significant environmental cost associated with management of products at the end-of-life has resulted in the emergence of 'producer responsibility' legislations to encourage increase in recovery and recycling practices. In the case of electrical and electronic equipment, one such legislation, namely the 'Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive', requires manufacturers to assume financial and legal liability for recovery and recycling of their products at the end-of-life. The current recycling applications of electrical and electronic waste are often developed on ad hoc bases and mainly attributable to the hideen economic value within used products. However, owing to stricter regulations on end-of-life product recycling, it is now essential to evaluate the recycling costs and environmental benefits of reclaimed products and materials as well as the selection of appropriate recycling strategy. The present paper describes the initial investigation in the realisation of a computer-aided recycling process planner for electrical and electronic products. The assertion made is that such a systemaic approach to producin bespoke eco-efficient recycling process plans for individual products will significantly improve the value recovery from recycling activities. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    The footwear factory is manufacturing sector that utilizes a wide variety of materials and processes to produce a range of distinctly different products, from sandals to more specialized footwear. Currently, more than 19 billion pairs of shoes are produced worldwide every year. This creates a large waste stream at the end of the functional life of shoes, which are often disposed of in landfills. 

    Producer responsibility concerns, forthcoming legislation and increasingly environmentally conscious consumers are expected to challenge the way the gloabl footwear industry is dealing with its end-of-life (EoL) products. This paper highlights the potential benefits of developing a footwear product recovery methodology and an associated software tool to suport decision-making to determine the most suitable (in environmental, economic and social-technical terms) manner in which to treat post-consumer shoe waste. Such a methodology, in addition to supporting design and material selection processes, could also provide benchmark information for the selection of the best EoL practice for a selected range of different shoe types. The paper concludes by providing a computational viewpoint of an EoL shoe recovery decision support tool. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Assessing the Economics of Pre-Fragmentation Material Recovery 2007, Journal of Resources Conservation & Recycling

    Abstract

    The 2006 end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) directive target for the recycled and reused material content of an ELV has been undertaken using the current recovery infrastructure within the UK. The current expectation is that the conformance for the 2006 recycling target will be mainly achieved using existing post-fragmentation separation tecnologies rather than manually disassembling vehicles into their constituent materials. With the economic pressure of the current legislative targets weighing heavily on end-of-life stakeholders, and the further increase of recycling levels for 2015, it is important to understand 'when' and 'if' manual dismantling activities become economically viable within a dramatically changing vehicles recovery industry. This paper describes a method of costing the dismantling of specific makes and models of vehicle due for retirement in 2015, and discusses the economic implications of such practice and possible strategic directions for pre-fragmentation vehicle recovery.  

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Post-Consumer Waste Management Issues in Footwear Industry 2007, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture

    Abstract

    Currently, 17 billion pairs of shoes are produced worldwide every year, and this figure continues to rise. This creates an enormous amount of post-consumer (end-of-life) shoe waste that is currently being disposed of in landfill sites around the world. The research reported in this paper is an intial investigation into realization of a holistic approach to application of recovery and recycling in the footwear industry. The paper provides a brief review of the trends in the footwear sector regarding the amount of end-of-lfie waste produced, togther with existing reuse and recycling activities. It also presents an integrated waste management framework by combining a mix of design and material improvements, as well as reuse, recycling, and energy recovery activities, and concludes by examining the challenges in establishing end-of-life product recovery procedures for post-consuemr shoes. 

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Recycling of Footwear Products 2007, Journal of BLC Leather Technology Centre

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Design Tools to Support End-of-Life Value Recovery 2007, Final Report for EPSRC-CTA RAIS

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Cost Models for Increased Value Recovery from End-of-Life Vehicles 2006, Proceedings of the 13th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE2006)

    Abstract

    A sustainable approach to a products End-of-life processing needs to be a balance between the environmental impacts of a particular course of action, and it’s economic viability. The research reported in this paper has investigated a structured costing framework to be used in conjunction with improved environmental practises, to provide an economic understanding of varying End-of-Life Vehicle processing routes. The paper presents an holistic end-of-life cost model for the vehicle recovery sector and focuses on the potential applications of this model to support both high and low level decisions, in terms of a processes economic merits and its influence on the ELV Directives recycling and recovery targets. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • A Design Framework for End-of-Life Vehicle Recovery 2006, Proceedings of the 13th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE2006)

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • End-of-Life Management of Shoes and the Role of Biodegradable Materials 2006, Proceedings of the 13th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE2006)

    Abstract

    The paper reviews the trends in the footwear sector regarding the amount of end-of-life waste produced and ways in which it is tackled. Existing reuse and recycling activities in the footwear sector are examined, and the use of biodegradable materials is investigated. The paper presents an integrated waste management framework by combining a mix of design and material improvements as well as reuse, recycling and energy recovery activities. The paper also discusses the implications of using biodegradable materials as a means of reducing the amount of end-of-life waste in the footwear industry and how this proactive approach compared against traditional end-of-life management approaches. 

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Implications of ELV Directive on Vehicle Recovery Sector 2006, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture

    Abstract

    To cope with the environmental effects of 9 million tonnes of vehicles that reach the end of their useful lives each year in Europe, the EC have created the End-of-Life Vehciles (ELVs) Directive. Two of the most radical measures included in the directive are to provide free takeback to last owners and to achieve targeted levels for the recycling and recovery of material by set dates. 

    This paper aims to provide a basis for future research by evaluating the potential direction of the recovery industry. This is achieved firstly by assessing the origins of the directive and previous research surroungs the subject. The paper then describes the current recovery infrastructure and practices in the UK, highlighting all the stakeholders involved in the recovery industry. This paper also highlights the issues related to the provision of takeback and the attainment of targets through two stages, namely the implementation and management of takeback, and the use of new technology to achieve the recovery targets. The paper concludes by identifying key aims for future research to support the objectives of the implemented legislation and the financial stability of all stakeholders. 

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    This report is the concluding document summating the project results from the IMCRC project entitled, “cost-oriented approach to design and recovery of vehicles to meet the requirements for the end-of-life (ELV) Directive”, which was undertaken from Oct 2004-Oct 2006. The report contains a brief overview of the research undertaken, the systems developed and the results that were obtained. The appendix contains 4 of the papers produced, which give further insight into the research conducted. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • End-of-life Recovery of Vehicles in the UK 2005, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Design and Manufacture for Sustainable Development (Sustain05)

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Parametric Cost Model to Support End-Of-Life Management of Vehicles 2004, Proceedings of the International IFAC Conference on Manufacturing Modelling, Management And Control (IFAC-MIM'04)

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • A Web-Based Information System to Support End-of-Life Product Recovery 2004, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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