|Profil Title||Novel and cost-effective in situ lifecycle management service for artificial turf facilities and its components|
|Reference Nr.||12 ES 23D1 3PUG|
|Country of origin||Spain|
|Entry/Update||2012-08-17 / 2012-12-18|
A Spanish technological centre has developed eco-innovative techniques to reduce the environmental impact of artificial turf pitches when they are removed. The service life of pitches is increased thanks to optimal maintenance operations developed and the wastes obtained when removed are recycled and reused. The centre looks for partners to apply these techniques in their clients facilities and/or to extend the project to other areas and materials.
A Spanish technological centre has developed eco-innovative techniques to reduce the environmental impact of artificial turf pitches when they are removed. It is known that the service life of pitches is increased thanks to the development of optimal maintenance operations; however, the use and the effect of the meteorological agents cause the wear of the surface and after some years it is impossible to recover the appropriate properties of the pitches by means of maintenance operations. Then, the wastes obtained when removed are recycled and reused. The centre looks for partners to apply these techniques in the facilities of their clients and/or to extend the project to other areas and materials. It means that the partners will be able to offer to their clients services related to recommendations of artificial turf pitches (by means of a web tool based on a mathematical model) and related to the separation of the materials of artificial turf pitches.
Currently there are installed approximately 25 millions of square meters of artificial turf for contact sports use in Europe (football, rugby, etc.). It means that at the end of their cycle of life 400.000 tones of non-dangerous materials will be placed in controlled landfills.
The environmental impact of these sport surfaces and materials can be reduced by an improved management of the lifecycle of the product and its components:
- Artificial turf properties can be recovered by performing specific maintenance operations depending on the use and the structure of the surface, and thus extending its service life up to 20%; the knowledge and criteria to assist these tasks is currently only held and offered by experienced RTD performers but it is a costly service to perform as regularly as required even for users that manage multiple artificial turf sports facilities.
- Most of the dumped infill materials can be reused (quartz sand and rubber) in a new installation, and carpet materials can be recycled (PE, PU and Latex) if properly separated and sieved; but current processes can only be performed in laboratory (ex situ) and transport costs involved make it neither financially appealing (not cost-effective to revalue) nor environmentally friendly.
The project developed by the Spanish centre has made possible to increase the useful life of artificial turf pitches in good conditions of use and reuse and/or recycle the materials of artificial turf surfaces at the end of their cycle of life, reducing at maximum the quantity of materials placed on landfills.
It has to be considered that service life of artificial turf surfaces is limited; there is a gradual loss of properties during its use, but can be recovered by performing specific maintenance operations. The developed techniques extend the service life in order to be safe for sports practice, through optimal maintenance operations and recycling and reusing suitable to be recycled.
The specific objectives developed in the project are:
1. Implementation of a highly usable web-based expert application, based on field tests and turf properties, able to assist maintenance managers to preserve the optimal properties of the product and extend its service life.
2. Adaptation of current laboratory separation techniques to be performed in situ by portable maintenance equipment.
3. Implementation of the waste revalue system. Rubber granulate supplier and the waste manager set the new flow for revaluing sub-products resulting from the in situ separation process. Revalue consist of reuse (~90%) and recycling (~10%) of the generated waste.
4. Pilot application of the new service to current and new clients. Service application will cover different types of surfaces at different stages of its service life and different geographic regions.
5. Artificial turf lifecycle management model dissemination.
The implementation of the developed techniques and service provide the following main environmental benefits:
- A revalue and reuse of infill materials (rubber and sand) of the product (>90% of the infill)
- A reduction of, at least, 80% of the total waste (rubber, quartz sand, PU, PE, Latex…) currently moved to landfill sites
- Recycling of carpet materials(PU, PE, Latex, etc.) in a cost-effective way (17,7 tonnes/pitch)
- Reduction of environmental cost(emission, noise, risks, etc.) caused by transport to landfill sites (3,6 tonnes of CO2-eq/pitch and 5 trucks saved)
- Saving on consumptionof non-renewable energy (fossil fuels) (1000 litres/pitch saved)
- Reduction of air pollution by avoiding the need of producing new components and reducing the incidence of uncontrolled burning of waste material (99 tonnes/pitch diverted)
- Replication across the EU in five years after the project (60% of reinstallations)
- Plastics, Polymers
- Plastics and Rubber related to Chemical Technology
- Mathematical modelling
- Recycling, Recovery
- Sports and Leisure
- Network test, monitoring and support equipment
- Sport facilities (gyms and clubs)
- Plastic fabricators
- Polymer (plastics) materials
- Textiles (synthetic and natural)
Stage of development
Available for demonstration
Patent Rights (IPR)
- License Agreement
- Adaptation to specific needs
- New way to use an existing production line
# Type of partner sought
artificial turf manufacturers, artificial turf pitches owners, councils. Someone related professionally with artificial turf sport surfaces.
# Specific area of activity of the partner
sport surfaces of artificial turf market.
# Task to be performed
exploitation of the results of an European project related to the improvement of maintenance of artificial turf pitches and the reuse and recycle of the materials of this kind of surfaces at the end of their cycle of life.