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Research turning waste into high value products

Research turning waste into high value products


5 April 2023 

Research turning waste into high value products


Today, Australian Research Council (ARC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ms Judi Zielke PSM launched the ARC Research Hub for Microrecycling of Battery and Consumer Wastes in Sydney.

The ARC Microrecycling Research Hub is part of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT).

Through research and industry collaboration, the Research Hub is pioneering micro-recycling science to transform Australia’s waste and resource recovery industry. The Hub is focusing on recovering valuable materials from waste batteries and other wastes to manufacture new and innovative materials while accelerating efforts to reduce emissions and decarbonise for the future.

Ms Zielke said that with more than a quarter of the 76 million tonnes of solid waste Australia generates each year going to landfill, the innovative work of the Microrecycling Research Hub is critical in identifying new ways to recycle waste and helping us move towards a circular economy.

“The Hub’s vision of translating science into real world environmental and economic benefits is at the heart of the ARC’s purpose to harness expertise to support the advancement of knowledge and innovation for the benefit of Australia,” said Ms Zielke.

Hub Director and Director of SMaRT, Professor Veena Sahajwalla, said the ARC Microrecycling Hub is a vital link between undertaking the fundamental science to develop innovative recycling technologies and the industrial application and take up of those technologies.

Professor Sahajwalla, an ARC Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellow, said, “This Hub is designed to translate our scientific innovations into practical outcomes for our industry partners, and to me there is currently no more important area to research than battery and other complex or hard to recycle wastes, most of which contain valuable materials that are usually landfilled, stockpiled or exported.”

“This is so important because many of the materials needed for future electrification components and decarbonisation efforts are subject to supply and price constraints – not to mention the environmental impacts of virgin mining, transportation and processing – and yet we are landfilling waste containing many of these valuable materials we need now and in the future.”

The ARC is investing $3.32 million over 5 years in the UNSW ARC Microrecycling Hub, supported by $6.73 million in funding and in-kind support from other university and industry partners.

For more information about the ARC Microrecycling Hub, please visit their website here.

For more information on the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hubs, please visit the ARC website.

Media contact: 

ARC Communications 0412 623 056 or   


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