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Where there’s muck there’s aluminium (if not brass)

Technology developed in Cambridge at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology lies at the heart of a commercial process that can turn toothpaste tubes and drinks pouches into both aluminium and fuel in just three minutes. The process recycles a form of packaging – plastic-aluminium laminates – whose only fate was landfill or incineration. Now, in a commercial-scale plant, built and operated by Cambridge spin-out Enval Limited, up to 2,000 tonnes of packaging are recycled a year – roughly the amount handled by regional waste handlers – and it generates enough energy to run itself. The research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

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