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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Objectives of the commitment

The objectives are to improve i) recovery of metals from complex sources, low grade ores and industrial residues and ii) resource efficiency in downstream processing. There is no economic value (or the value is negative) in low grade ore bodies and industrial residues until new economic methods are provided to extract them. Bio/hydro/pyrometallurgical beneficiation processes are developed in a holistic and integrated way to improve resource use and to minimize and ultimately to prevent hazardous waste and acidic mine drainage in mining industry. New recycling concepts for metal containing wastes are developed. The aim is to extend Europe’s effective resource base for different metals from nonconventional primary and secondary resources for valuable and critical metals, and to turn waste into a valuable resource and valorization of the waste and residue after extraction of valuables.

Description of the activities

Bio/hydro/pyrometallurgical processes and their novel combinations are developed to reduce the amount of needed raw materials, resources and produced waste materials in the mining and metallurgical industry. Our development focus is on enabling hydrometallurgical technologies (leaching, precipitation, cementation, liquid-liquid extraction, electrochemistry, and bioprocessing) for treatment of solid and liquid waste streams (characterization, improved recycling, stabilization of hazardous waste, and safe landfills). Innovative hydrometallurgical process concepts and hybrid methods will be developed for the recovery of metals from low grade and complex sources. For example bioprocessing could be combined with other hydrometallurgical unit processes. Flexible mobile units for small deposits and waste areas will be developed, in order to possibly integrate different of these techniques and unit in a flow sheet for treating specific streams and ores. Reduction of water and energy consumption and reuse of water are taken into account in process development work. Water usage in the developed hydrometallurgical processes will be minimized and as much water as possible will be recirculated in the process. Process development is accompanied by advanced thermodynamic modelling and flowsheet simulations. New value chains and business models will be created. All developed technologies will be evaluated on their resource efficiency.

Description of the expected impacts

Resource efficiency in the mining, waste treatment, and metallurgical industry is improved. Moreover, significant amounts of industrial residues (both solid and aqueous) will possibly be valorized.
Supply of metals from unconventional resources to reduce Europe’s dependence on import of metals. Valorization of waste materials into valuable products.
New industrial flow sheets for waste and ores processing for optimal material recovery and business creation with simultaneous job creation in Europe.
Public acceptance can be improved through reduced environmental impact of mining.

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: VTT Technical Research Centre of FinlandCountry: FinlandEntity profile: Governmental/public bodyRole within the commitment:

Innovative hydrometallurgical process concepts and hybrid method development for complex and low grade resources. Development of flexible mobile units for small deposits and waste areas. Bioprocessing of low grade ores and secondary materials. Reduction of water consumption and reuse of water in hydrometallurgical processes. Modelling of the process chain for resource efficiency.

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 01-02-2014 to 31-08-2018