Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination UPR 8241

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Conférence Pr Allan Nidu,
Tallin University of Technology, Estonie

Lundi 6 décembre 2021 à 10h - Auditorium Fernand Gallais
"Circular economy-phasing out oil shale"
Contact LCC : Dr Eric Manoury , eric.manoury chez


In recent years, the topic of reuse of polymer wastes, including plastics and used car tires, has become increasingly important. Annual increase in production of polymer/plastic materials inevitably leads to an increase in the waste produced that requires recycling. According to Statista, more plastic has been produced in the past 15 years than in the 50 years prior. (1) In the European Union, only the demand for plastics in 2019 amounted to 50.7 million tones. The most common plastics that are used on a daily basis and are universally applicable are polyethylene (PE-HD and PE-LD) and polypropylene (PP). (2) According to PlasticsEurope association in 2019 in Europe, of the collected 29 million tons of plastic wastes, 42.6% went to energy recovery, 32.5% to recycling, and 24.9% was buried in a landfill amounting to roughly 7 million tons. (2) In September 2020, ETRMA, the European Tire and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association, reported (3) that in 2018, 32 countries (EU28, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, and Turkey) collected 3.58 million tons of end of life tires from which 193 thousand tons have not been reused. Thus, a fair amount of polymer wastes still needs to be incorporated into sustainable waste management and, by the virtue of it, into circular economy.
On the other hand, according to the “Estonian national energy and climate plan (NECP 2030)”, by 2050, Estonia must strive to reduce carbon emissions to zero. (4) To achieve this goal, the Estonian government announced two dates─the exiting of the production of oil shale electricity no later than 2035 and the production of shale oil no later than 2040. During this period, it is planned to reduce the negative impact of oil shale production on the natural environment. For this purpose, oil shale processing enterprises are looking for an opportunity to modernize production and switch to a new type of raw material. Recycling of polymeric wastes is important for both energy recovery and raw material processing. In light of the EU Green Deal, the oil shale industry is looking for new opportunities to use its production potential. As an intermediate stage, the co- pyrolysis of oil shale with waste plastic and tires will be considered acceptable and eventually it is planned to abandon the oil shale use altogether, but still remain as recycling facilities for various polymeric waste materials and thus entering circular economy.


(1) Production of plastics worldwide from 1950 to 2019 (in million metric tons). production-of-plastics-since-1950/. (accessed Aug 12, 2020).

(2) Plastic the Facts 2020. resources/publications/4312-plastics-facts-2020. (accessed Nov 27, 2020).

(3) Europe 91% of all End of Life Tyres collected and treated in 2018. tyres-collected-and-treated-in-2018/. (accessed Det 28, 2020).

(4) Estonian national energy and climate plan (NECP 2030). https:// translation_ee_necp.pdf. (accessed May 28, 2021