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

Recycling Of Secondary raw materials for a sustainable optimization of construction processes in civil Engineering

Objectives of the commitment

The goal is to increase the use of Secondary Raw Materials (SRM) in construction engineering processes. The SRM the commitment intends to work on are: mining and quarrying tailings, construction and demolition waste, fly ash, paper mill waste, yarn mill waste, textile fibre waste, plastic waste. A proper combination of these SRM will be treated and processed to develop innovative solutions with added economic value for geotechnical, structural and functional applications. Most of the proposed activities have already been studied and tested at a research level (lab or small scale models). The objective is to foster a virtuous process of industrial application at EU scale, putting together multidisciplinary academicians, waste producers, recycling companies, socioeconomic researchers and stakeholders to prepare and test new environmentally compatible products to be introduced into market.

Description of the activities

The activities will be focused on the development of new materials and technologies for geotechnical, structural and functional applications. Particular attention will be paid towards the valorisation of SRM through chemical and physical treatments of inorganic and organic components. The combination of different typologies of SRM will be considered with the aim of taking advantage of specific properties of the individual components through a multidisciplinary approach. As a result of the activities, pilot plants will be realized in specific Working Areas (WA) focusing on TRL6-7. The 6 WAs will be the following:

  • WA1:Mining and Quarrying tailings (Actions:I.1.1, I.1.3, I.1.4, I.4.1, II.1.4, II.1.6, II.5.2, II.8.2, II.10.1). These tailings are currently landfilled for the largest part (it accounts for about 25% of all waste generated in EU). Treatment and stabilization (according to Directive 2006/21/EC) with traditional techniques (for instance with lime) or with the innovative ones will be implemented (with recycled fibrous raw materials, fly ash and geopolymers) by means of laboratory and site applications.
  • WA2: Construction and demolition waste (Actions: all those specified above in WA1 + I.5.3). It accounts for about 30% of all waste generated in Europe. Consists of numerous materials such as concrete, asphalt, bricks, gypsum, wood, glass, metals, plastic, soil and dredged spoil. Many of them can be recycled, but separation at source is a critical issue. Novel technologies and procedures will be developed to optimize the recycling/re-use procedures. Specific construction components will be manufactured with construction and demolition waste (chemically modified or not), e.g. barriers, pavements, panels.
  • WA3: Fly ash produced in coal burning factories (Actions: all those specified above in WA1). This production is close to 40 Mtons/year in EU, only partly reused. Use of fly ashes as binder in soil improvement techniques or in other civil engineering applications, to partially replace traditional binders (Portland cement or lime), will be implemented. Tuning of chemical composition, lab and in situ tests.
  • WA4: Paper mill waste (Actions: all those specified above in WA1 + I.4.3). In the paper recycling process, a recycle paper mill waste is produced, usually landfilled or incinerated. The goal is to obtain a breakthrough by modifying the wastes with precursors of inorganic phases, in order to obtain organic-inorganic adducts or hybrid systems to be used in the formation of compact or foamed organic-inorganic products with enhanced mechanical and functional properties (i.e. thermal, acoustical insulation).
  • WA5: Yarn Mill Waste or Textile Fibre Waste (Actions: all those specified above in WA1). The residual or secondary textile fibre waste (TFW) in the yarn production have little value and are difficult to dispose. The objective is to recycle TFW to make structural elements (bricks, panels), or to reinforce soil embankments or slopes in a compatible way. This can be done either by using dispersed fibres into the soil or by creating planar reinforcements with the fibres (e.g. geogrid, geotextiles).
  • WA6: Plastic waste (Actions: all those specified above in WA1). The idea is to implement innovative technological and sustainable approaches to make different plastics compatible for the production of fibre and sand shape materials, to be used to produce structural elements (bricks, panels) and, when environmentally compatible, to reinforce soil embankments.

Description of the expected impacts

Construction, mining, quarrying and manufacturing activities are, in order of importance according to quantity, the major sources of waste (about 60%) in the European Union. About half of the total amount of waste produced in the EU-28 is disposed (either land filled, land treated or released into water bodies). Furthermore cement production has severe environmental impacts, using vast amounts of fuel (usually fossil fuels) and being responsible for the emission of as much as 5% of all CO2 worldwide. The expected impacts of the activities of the proposed commitment are:

Environmental impacts:

  1. Reduction of waste disposal;
  2. Reduction of the cement used in some structural and geotechnical application;
  3. Increasing recycling rate.

Economical impacts:

  1. Recovery of secondary raw materials needed in the civil applications from industrial, building and manufacturing activities;
  2. Reduce the waste produced by enterprises and/or increase their business by reusing wastes in different civil engineering application.
  3. Creation of new innovative products to widen enterprises' business.

Social impacts:

  1. Create new job opportunities;
  2. Increase environmental and health protection;
  3. Improve the collaboration in EU in the raw material community (academia and enterprises), authorities and stakeholders;
  4. Facilitate the transfer of the best research and innovation practices to different regions of the EU with the essential help of the involved stakeholders.

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: STRESS scarlCountry: ItalyEntity profile: OtherRole within the commitment:

STRESS is involved in all the 6 Working Areas (WAs). It will play a role in developing the solutions from the laboratory testing of prototype processes to verification of integrated prototype systems (TRL 4-7) developed by the industrial patners. STRESS will also coordinate network activities among all the partners and will contribute to the industrial application of the new products and to the realization of the pilot plants.

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: No

Period to implement the commitment: from 03-03-2014 to 31-12-2020