Compositional and Structural Disorder: Valuable Preparative Tools toward Novel Materials and Enablers for the Circular Economy
EMANUEL I. 1,2, TEPPALLA D. 2, HOMM G. 1, WEIDENKAFF A. 1,2
1 Fraunhofer IWKS, Alzenau, Germany; 2 TU Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany
Circular Economy (CE) represents a concept concerning the production and consumption/use of goods which basically should reduce the amount of waste to a minimum. There is an obvious contradiction between the need for a CE and the tremendously increasing amount and complexity of consumer goods, their planned obsolescence, and the massive amount of waste due to the take-make-waste peculiarity of their production/consumption.
CE has a powerful enemy, i.e. the second law of thermodynamics, which actually prevents that closing the production loops leads to full resource efficiency. Thus, minimizing residues and losses should be considered as important as and in addition to closing the material loops. The consequence is the stringent need to minimize the entropy increase across the various added value chains.
However, we will show in the present talk that entropy increase may not always be seen as acting against CE. Firstly, we will discuss the concept of structural and compositional disorder. Secondly, we will elaborate on the compositional complexity in materials as an effective way to consider highly heterogeneous waste streams as valuable secondary raw materials. And thirdly, we will perform a prospective discussion on preparative concepts and strategies to develop materials with maximized performance and high tolerancy for admixtures & impurities.