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Environmental risks with circular material use

Martijn van Praagh

Our group focuses on environmental risks connected to recycling of materials and products and their potential to form circular flows. As both materials and products often contain organic and non-organic pollutants, they are more or less suitable for recycling.

Aspects that need to be taken into account in order to assess risks and develop criteria for recycling are both broad and complex: Natural Sciences (chemistry, ecotoxicology), engineering and process engineering, environmental law and social sciences. Our focus is on ecotoxicological effects that pollutants potentially have on the environment, especially the soil environment and soil functions, and how these should be assessed in order to minimize environmental risks. 

We conduct field- and laboratory investigations, and we collaborate with stakeholders in our projects. 

The overall aim of our work is to contribute to environmentally safe recycling and non-toxic circular material use.

Circular material flows in civil engineering - optimized material management when waste becomes a resource 

Today, scientifically substantiated environmental criteria are lacking for recycling materials such as asphalt, concrete and excavated soil from the construction sector. Every year, millions of tons of these materials arise that could become a product instead and provide environmental benefits and cost savings. Since these materials may contain organic and non-organic pollutants, the overall environmental effects of their reuse must be highlighted and assessed. This is especially true of effects on the soil environment, as the materials are often in contact with soil. In this project, we will develop risk assessment methods to enable environmentally safe recycling of these materials so that they may form circular material flows.

The project is financed by the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Construction Industries Development Fund and CEC.


Principal investigator

Martijn van Praagh

  • Email: martijn [dot] van_praagh [at] cec [dot] lu [dot] se
  • Phone: +46 46 222 47 80

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