Ilija Sazdovski


Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Physics (University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius), Master’s Degree in Ecological Economics (Integrated Business Institute in Skopje).

PhD candidate

Ilija Sazdovski is finalizing his Ph.D. thesis in the field of circular aspects of materials, directed by Dr. Pere Fullana i Palmer at the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF. His thesis aims to propose methodological improvements to the life cycle assessment methodology by involving the principles of the circular economy. He developed theoretical aspects of two circularity indicators, which can be utilized in fast-moving products such as packaging, through involving time in the life cycle principles. He is skilled in laboratory testing of fossil-based and bio-based plastic materials in multiple recycling processes aiming to identify circular qualitative properties.

Professional activity

Ilija Sazdovski is a member of the International Association of Energy Engineers. Between 2012 and 2018, he was part of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Conference for Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environmental Systems. He is a co-author of the III National Energy Efficiency Action Plan for 2016-2018 for Macedonia and a national sub-law for Monitoring and verification of energy and GHG reductions. He authored and supported the development of several software solutions for energy monitoring and GHG Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems. He was employed as an International Expert by the United Nations for designing GHG MRV systems for the buildings sector.

He is an experienced researcher, and he is authoring numerous technical reports, strategies, and conference and scientific papers.

Selected publications

Sazdovski, I., Bala, A., Fullana-i-Palmer, P., (2021)

The ever-increasing volume of packaging waste is widely recognised as a key global environmental challenge. Packaging is thus a central concern for advocates and analysts of circular economy (CEc), who often apply the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology when measuring the environmental impacts of products and packaging. We undertook a systematic literature review as a research method, and in-depth analysis to ascertain the extent to which the new CEc paradigm has been integrated in LCA methodology applied to beverage packaging and reported in scientific papers. Carefully developed search strings returned 866 articles relevant to our enquiry from the databases of SCOPUS and Web of Science. Applying our selected eligibility criteria, we extracted a subset of 51 articles for in-depth analysis. The analysed literature shows the links between the quality of packaging material for recycling and the profoundness of the LCA studies. The paper provides the following set of recommendations for enhancing the future practice in development of the scientific LCAs for beverage packaging: (i) taking all direct and indirect factors into account when assessing the refillable beverage packaging system and conducting break-even analysis in order to achieve impartial comparative assessments of single-use and refillable systems; (ii) developing proxies in cases when actual data is lacking with which to model the recycling scenarios for exported secondary materials and hence improving the accuracy of recycling rate assessments in LCA models; (iii) improving the definition of the LCA function by introducing multiple loops of the packaging material and assessing qualitative changes in the material resulting from the multiple-recycling process. Thus improved practice of LCAs could better inform and improve the design of new packaging strategies aimed at prolonging the life of packaging materials in the technosphere, equally fulfilling the principles of the CEc.

Delgado-Aguilar, M., Puig, R., Sazdovski, I., Fullana-i-Palmer, P., (2020)

Circular economy comes to break the linear resource to waste economy, by introducing different strategies, two of them being: using material from renewable sources and producing biodegradable products. The present work aims at developing polylactic acid (PLA), typically made from fermented plant starch, and polycaprolactone (PCL) blends, a biodegradable polyester, to study their potential to be used as substitutes of oil-based commodity plastics. For this, PLA/PCL blends were compounded in a batch and lab scale internal mixer and processed by means of injection molding. Tensile and impact characteristics were determined and compared to different thermoplastic materials, such as polypropylene, high density polyethylene, polystyrene, and others. It has been found that the incorporation of PCL into a PLA matrix can lead to materials in the range of 18.25 to 63.13 megapascals of tensile strength, 0.56 to 3.82 gigapascals of Young’s modulus, 12.65 to 3.27 percent of strain at maximum strength, and 35 to 2 kJ/m2 of notched impact strength. The evolution of the tensile strength fitted the Voigt and Reuss model, while Young’s modulus was successfully described by the rule of mixtures. Toughness of PLA was significantly improved with the incorporation of PCL, significantly increasing the energy required to fracture the specimens. Blends containing more than 20 wt% of PCL did not break when unnotched specimens were tested. Overall, it was found that the obtained PLA/PCL blends can constitute a strong and environmentally friendly alternative to oil-based commodity materials.

Bozhikaliev, V., Sazdovski I., Adler, J., Markovska, N. (2019)

Bioenergy villages can be defined as villages, municipalities, settlements or communities, which produce and use most of their energy from local bioenergy and other renewable energy sources. A bioenergy village approach has not been applied in Macedonia yet, and it is at a nascent stage of implementation in other South-Eastern European countries. This work aims to integrate a techno-economic, social and environmental assessment and an implementation strategy into a bioenergy village concept, which is not often seen in works dedicated to bioenergy villages and biomass based heating systems. The assessment was conducted by means of energy audit and project-related tools, whilst the strategy was composed by bioenergy working group meetings. Results show that a biomass based district heating system is a more attractive solution for heating several public buildings instead of a fossil fuelled system, with numerous associated benefits. Such concepts can be replicated with variety of renewables, thus contributing to sustainable development pathways of small communities.

Sazdovski, I., Bojovic, B., Batlle-Bayer, L., Aldaco, R., Margallo, M., Fullana-i-Palmer, P.

This paper introduces a new methodology for the analysis of the time of recycling to compare different life cycle assessments (LCA). We apply the three variables that define the value creation principles in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's definition of circularity: material, energy and time. Including time in the LCA methodology improves understanding of the system under study, especially for products that have a relatively short usage time compared to their recycling time. We developed a formula that includes the time necessary for obtaining the secondary material needed for "n+1" product. The paper shows that we need to consider the production of additional packaging products, quantity of which depends on the time needed for recycling, to develop comparative LCAs between systems that serve same function. The proposed approach to packaging LCA contributes to the scientific debate over the allocation of credits and burdens between several consecutive life cycles of a material.

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UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and
Climate Change ESCI-UPF

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2024-06-25 15:16:55