Objectives of the commitment
Blue Nodules specific research/technological objectives, main innovations and key results are:
1. The knowledge, advanced models, design methodologies and technologies (TRL6) for a full scale deep sea mining system for polymetallic nodules consisting of the nodule collector, umbilical and jumper hose;
2. The knowledge and advanced models for building and assessing of business cases representing the entire value chain of polymetallic nodules;
3. The knowledge and advanced models and methodologies for determining the overall environmental impact of the deep sea mining of polymetallic nodules in water depths up to 6,000 metres.
Description of the activities
1) Set the functional requirements and assess the performance of the developed deep sea mining system for polymetallic nodules within the context of a realistic and technical, economic and environmental balanced business case.
2) Development and testing of the essential components for the harvesting of polymetallic nodules to a TRL4 to TRL6.
3) Determination of the properties and characteristics of the mined material in every stage of the process flow and the development of near-situ separation, measurement and comminution systems.
4) Design and development of reliable and sufficient sea surface facilities, offshore and onshore operations for the processing and storage of the polymetallic nodules, the process water and the tailings.
5) Identification, quantification and evaluation of environmental pressures of deep-sea polymetallic nodule harvesting, processing, and transport
Description of the expected impacts
1) Blue Nodules develops the technological capabilities up to TRL6 for industrially-viable and sustainable mining and (in situ) mineral processing of polymetallic nodules in European and international waters from 3,000 to 6,000 m WD and up to sea state 6 conditions. This opens the way to system prototype demonstration in real environment (TRL7) and system complete and qualified (TRL8). Successful completion of these steps leads to technology leadership, improved competitiveness of the EU mining sector and access to (critical) raw materials. Envisaging to become a global player within 5-10 years;
2) Blue Nodules contributes to environmental and socially important impacts by opening up the possibilities for a) new mineral resources (polymetallic nodules) with significantly low severe ecological impact, b) sustainable highly automated technology for remote and efficient operations that can be retrieved and moved to other mining locations and c) the creation of numerous attractive jobs with excellent working conditions in deep sea mining and equipment manufacturing industries.
Coordinating organisation & role
Name of the coordinating organisation: IHC Mining B.V.Country: NetherlandsEntity profile: Private sector - large companyRole within the commitment:
- Set functional requirements and assessment of the deep sea mining system
- Develop and test collector, propulsion system and tailings and water management systems
- Develop near-situ separation, measurement and comminution systems
- Design and develop sea surface facilities, define mining vessel layout and transfer at sea
- Coordination of the project
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur FÃ¶rderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.
Name of the organisation: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur FÃ¶rderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V. Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Fraunhofer will lead the CFRP and GFRP recycling research.
Fraunhofer will perform corrosion tests on the developed materials.
Fraunhofer will work with CIDAUT on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project. Fraunhofer is the Quality Manager of the Consortium and will oversee deliverables and general reporting are produced with the best possible quality following agreed review standards.
Name of the organisation: Fundacion Cidaut Country: Spain Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: CIDAUT will lead the research activities on materials recycling and compounding, implementing lab scale demonstrators of each process at its premises and, later, supporting end-users upscale the processes.
CIDAUT will perform mechanical tests, microstructural analyses, injection moulding capability studies on the developed materails, and will work with Fraunhofer on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project.
RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV)
Name of the organisation: RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV) Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: RWTH will implement the novel 3D Generative Preforming process (3D Fibre Spraying) that enables to create high-value long fibre-reinforced 3D preforms for thermoplastic and thermoset composites at low process costs (different kinds of yarn as a raw material, low tooling costs due to low cavity pressures). This cost effective technology allows to align the sprayed fibres in order to produce high-performance, engineered anisotropic products.
Universita' di Cagliari
Name of the organisation: Universita' di Cagliari Country: Italy Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: University of Cagliari is one of the leading European organization in the resin design and coupling with thermoplastic and thermose materials. University of Cagliari will support in the definition of the composite materials, both from CFRP/GFRP, ABS and Rare Earth composite material.
Name of the organisation: Relight Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: RELIGHT will work with ITRB to provide the research partners with residues for the recycled ABS supply and the REE recovery processes, including their HydroWEEE process as part of the processes to be studied and analyzed.
Name of the organisation: Piaggio Aerospace Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - large company
Role within the commitment: Piaggio Aerospace is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Piaggio will assist in the compounds selection, provide Fraunhofer with specific corrosion requirements on business jet size aircraft, and will assess that the developed materials performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.
Name of the organisation: Blackshape Aircrafts Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: Blackshape Aircrafts is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Blackshape will support to fulfill the requirements of the aeronautics industry on ultra light jet, light jet and trainer for Syllabus, and will assess that the developed alloys performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.
Name of the organisation: KU Leuven Country: Belgium Entity profile: Academia
Role within the commitment: KUL will collaborate on the balance problem studies and will lead the rare earth recovery research with the solvometallurgical and ionometallurgical processes.
KUL will also contribute to the final compounding selection.
KUL is the Dissemination Manager of the project, promoting that all partners are active on the project Dissemination.
Name of the organisation: FIDAMC Country: Spain Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: FIDAMC is going to lead the Work Package on Compression Moulding with CFRP-enhanced materials. As part of the AIRBUS Group, FIDAMC will also be able to provide the input material.
FIDAMC successfully developed a 3D Printer of own design to serve the Aerospace Industry and will be supporting Smart Lab 3D Industries in its 3D printer design.
COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER
Name of the organisation: COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER Country: Canada Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Composite Innovation Center is one of the world leading organization in the field of Composite materials, both from carbon fiber and vegetal-based fibers.
Composite Innovation center has successfully implemented, at lab-scale, recycling processes for CFRP and GFRP.
Existing EU Contribution: Yes
Period to implement the commitment: from 01-02-2016 to 01-02-2020