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Λογότυπος της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

From iron and manganese oxides wastes to valuable metal alloys using novel carbon sources materials

Objectives of the commitment

The main objective of the project is to reduce the need for landfill deposits by turning waste streams from the metal industry into valuable products through investigation of the most optimised process routes from waste to product for common and large impact waste streams originating from carbothermic production of Silicon & Ferro-manganese alloys, or from metal and carbon containing waste streams from steel and metal recycling activities.
This will be done by the creation of a new process value chain consisting of pre-treatment and treatment stages where the use of carbon retrieved from EOL vehicles (& carbon from old deposits) as a reducing agent combined with iron and manganese production waste, is the key. The demonstration will be done in a value chain at semi-industrial scale able to achieve ~ 15 tons of FeMn alloys. The project aims at a metal recovery rate of 60%.

Description of the activities

The proposed solution is based on the use of both innovative compaction methods (new technique without binder) and commercially available high temperature pre-treatment technologies (Rotary Hearth Furnace, Multiple Hearth Furnace, Rotary kiln) needed to remove impurities (alkalis, heavy metals…). These different technologies will be compared in terms of OPEX/CAPEX vs. targeted output composition. As these technologies require high CAPEX and need high amounts of waste to be profitable, an innovative approach consists to combine waste from several sectors (manganese, steel, recycling). Once the impurities removed, the semi-product obtained will be tested in the production of new FeMn alloy but also as new material that could be directly recycled in the steel industry.

A specific advantage in this project is the partner’s availability of lab-, pilot- and industrial - scale equipment for performing the process step tests. Low cost and quick laboratory tests may be performed to scan different operational parameters of the technology, allowing larger more resource demanding (pilot / industrial scale) tests to be more focused and achieve a higher probability of success.

The project output will be a demonstration validation of the most optimised process route, to retrieve valuable elements out of process by-products that are today landfilled. A detailed technical and economical evaluation will be carried out to validate the viability of the optimised process route. If successful, the implementation of this new recycling route could be considered in a period of time lower than three years after the end of the project. Furthermore, the acquired knowledge during this project could be further extended to other sectors (production of ferrochrome, zinc production…).

Description of the expected impacts

Large quantities of metal bearing dust are generated by the metallurgical industry. Worldwide, it is estimated that at least 50 million tons of metallic dust and sludges are produced annually and only a fraction of this amount is currently recycled. Public authorities, customers and the public are making ever greater demands on the metallurgical industry to reduce emissions, and this is increasing the need to develop new, more cost-effective ways of dealing with the dust problem. The problem is exacerbated by the obsolescence of some of the existing alternatives. One example is landfills, which are no longer suitable and will soon be prohibited in some countries (Norway, Belgium, France, and Germany). Existing technologies for handling and recycling dust are also expensive. Transportation and treatment often cost hundreds of euros per tonne. In most cases, there is also a lack of technology for recycling sludge generated in metallurgical production. Product flow often goes from treatment to recycling or landfill. An important trend is the increasing pressure being applied by authorities and key customers, which is leading to a change in practice from landfill dumping to treatment and from treatment to recycling, i.e. towards dust prevention. Alternatively, if complete recycling cannot be achieved, the goal is to obtain a product that can be classified as inert material with negligible environmental impact. The classification of waste as it is applied in many landfill places is threefold: (i) Inert material; (ii) Waste; (iii) Hazardous waste.
If waste such as dust or sludge can be turned from “hazardous waste” into ”waste” or from “waste” into “inert material”, it is highly favourable from a cost perspective, and from an environmental perspective.

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: ERAMET ResearchCountry: FranceEntity profile: Private sector - large companyRole within the commitment:

ERAMET will be the lead partner of this project as they are in the core of the new recycling value chain proposed in this project. Furthermore, industrial validation of this concept will be tested in one of ERAMET’s industrial furnace.

Other partners

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.

Name of the organisation: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung 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.

Fundacion Cidaut

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.

Relight

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.

Piaggio Aerospace

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.

Blackshape Aircrafts

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.

KU Leuven

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.

FIDAMC

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 01-03-2016 to 01-03-2020