P4: Environmental regulation of composites in an international context



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The environmental market regulation has a significant impact on production, usage and future recycling of composites. Therefore, the aim of the project located at the Research Unit International Economics is to analyze the impact of national and international regulation strategies regarding the structure of the markets for composite materials. Each individual stage of the supply chain is to be investigated. On the one hand, across the entire composite material and on the other hand within the context of the entire product life cycle – beginning by the raw material input and ending in the possible recycling of the end products. Following the identification of possible incentive distortions, a theoretical model for the production and trade of composite materials is to be developed. Based on the model, economic policy recommendations for increasing market efficiency regarding sustainability, competitiveness and investment are to be derived.

IW, RWTH Aachen Editing of a law regulating circular economy

The dissertation project consists of three studies, which gradually reach the aim of the doctoral thesis. Within the framework of the first study the international markets for composite materials are to be examined. Both, the national and the international regulation strategies are to be identified. Composite markets and regulations are to be evaluated regarding possible market problems as well as incentive and investment distortions. The focus of the first project is the portrayal of the markets for composite materials and the associated regulation. Furthermore, it shall be examined whether the current national and international economic policies and regulations can provide necessary conditions for sustainable production, usage and recycling of composites. In the subsequent study, the international markets for composite materials are to be modeled. A theoretical model which is suitable for the explanation and forecasting of production, trade, investment and recycling of the composites is to be developed. Both the technical and behavioral aspects of international trade and the production of composites are to be considered. The aim of the subsequent third study is the development of instruments to increase long-term efficiency and sustainability of the composite markets and to test them on the basis of the theoretical model. Economic policy recommendations for the creation of additional economic and environmental-related values are to be derived.

The cornerstones of this dissertation project are to be developed in close cooperation with the partners from business and politics. In addition, interdisciplinary cooperation takes place within the Fortschrittskolleg. In particular, the Research Unit International Economics and the Institute for Textile Technology of RWTH Aachen University collaborate together by developing concepts for considering the future recycling of composite materials already in design and production.