Strong, reliable processes and decades of expertise in product development characterize us as BUSSE Design+Engineering. As part of our 60th anniversary we already identified points in our development process where sustainability can be implemented. From the kick-off and initial conception phase, through component optimization in design to the selection of suppliers and ecologically reasonable materials and production methods, we see potential for sustainable development in every step of the design process. This also includes the tools and methods that we use today, as we want to modify or expand them under sustainable aspects as well.
We try to support the following desirable goals that go beyond everyday product development:
+ A reflected selection of materials, its use, production method and location
+ Non-destructive disassembly and easy recycling of products
+ Modular construction
+ A sensible maintenance and repair capability for longlivity of products
+ Promotion of incentive systems for promoting environmentally conscious, extended usage behavior
The German CIRCULAR ECONOMIC ACT (KrWG) and the EU ACTION PLAN CIRCULAR ECONOMY encourage and demand for more recycling and less waste. We rely on our material competences as well as a sensible assembly and housing concepts to support our customers in the profitable prevention of waste and recyclability of their products.
There is a trend towards plastic recycling in the last years. But a huge share is only recycled by using the plastic purely energetically and the share keeps increasing since 1994. In our view it is better to recycle by reusing the existing material instead of turning it to energy.
1. Material recycling: Collect, shred and remold material or add in a new product as a recyclate.
2. Raw material: Mixed plastic can be heated to create an oil which can be reprocessed into new high quality material. Since this process costs a lot of energy, the use of this recycling method is consistently low.
3. Energetic usage: The very high heat value of plastic can be used in energy-intensive processes. Instead of using fresh crude oil or hard coal, mixed plastic can be used to power blast furnaces. However, this process can emit highly toxic dust, which has to be filtered and deposited properly.
When choosing the right material, it is important to consider the entire required energy for production, processing and recycling. The transport route of the material to the actual production site and from there to the customer has to be factored in as well, as this also makes up a large part of the CO2 footprint.
Aluminum consumes a lot of energy when it is first manufactured, but it can be recycled extremely well. Recycling aluminum consumes only one tenth of the energy required for initially producing it. This makes a closed material cycle for materials like this very important.
Other materials like steel and glass can also be produced with little energy and are recyclable with little loss of quality. Only the comparatively high density gives those materials a disadvantage compared to plastics. The term "material-bound energy demand" describes the amount of necessary crude oil for the starting point of plastic or the amount of pulp for the production of paper.
Particularly noteworthy are the following bio-based plastics:
PLA - polylactide
This common biopolymer is obtained from plant residues, is industrially compostable and almost reaches the characteristics of PET. In material recycling, this material has to be separated from the rest to not disturb the properties of the other plastics. PLA is used for food packaging and as filament for 3D printing.
PHA - Polyhydroxyalkanoates and PHB - Polyhydroxybutyrate
These bio-based and compostable thermoplastics are often made by bacterial fermentation. PHA blends reaches a yield stress of up to 690 MPa and has a very low water absorption and a strong elongation at break. Due to its high price, PHA is mainly used in the medical industry, i.e. for temprorary implants that can be resorbed by the human body.
CA - Cellulose acetate
This plastic has been on the market already for decades: As artificial silk, in cigarette filters or as impact-resistant handles on hand tools. Although CA is produced using biological processes, its recycling or compostability are very complex.