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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

TOWARDS A RAW MATERIALS STRATEGY FOR THE EUROPEAN CERAMIC INDUSTRY

Objectives of the commitment

CRAM is aimed at providing data and information toward an industrial strategy for ceramic raw materials in Europe. A dual approach, by fostering an interplay between the knowledge on mineral/waste potential and that on ceramic technology, is needed to go beyond running EU projects in this field. It can help drawing some of the innovation paths in the next decade. Expected results: 1) identification of critical situations in raw materials supply (CRMs list from the ceramic industry viewpoint); 2) study of the ceramic raw materials flow in Europe; 3) technological classification of ceramic raw materials to support geological mapping and exploration; 4) industry-oriented definition of feasible alternatives (primary and secondary raw materials) to current key resources; 5) roadmap to new ceramic products and processes in function of the medium- to long-term availability of raw materials.

Description of the activities

1) Identification of critical situations in raw materials supply in order to create a Critical Raw Materials list from the ceramic industry viewpoint. Use of the USA and EU models of criticality. Extending the evaluation beyond the CRMs concepts to entail: technological value, medium- to long-term availability, logistics stress test.
2) Study of the ceramic raw materials flow in Europe by covering supply to wall and floor tiles, tableware and sanitaryware, bricks and roof tiles, glazes and pigments, refractories and insulators, lightweight aggregates, ceramic pipes. Case studies on key production countries (Spain, Italy and Turkey).
3) Technological classification of ceramic raw materials to support geological mapping and exploration; many raw materials widely used in ceramic production are not considered by official statistics or are gathered under broad categories, often in a different way in different countries; lack of technological value in the assessment of output and reserves. Proposal of this new classification to be used in Eurostat for a comprehensive understanding of the real material flows in Europe of this raw materials.
4) Industry-oriented definition of feasible alternatives (primary and secondary raw materials) to current key resources. Application of the circular economy to the ceramic industry with a specific approach to recycling of urban and industrial wastes as raw materials by reviewing: technological and environmental feasibility for recycling; design of recycling solutions for distinct wastes; definition of added-value waste-based products; Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for waste-bearing materials. The ceramic production requires intensive energy consumption, which accounts for up to 30% of the total cost. In turn, the minerals used in the manufacture of ceramics represent about one fifth of the total manufacturing cost of many ceramic elements. Operating at high temperature,
the furnace not only consumes energy but also releases greenhouse gases. Therefore, the environmental impact of the manufacture of building materials can be reduced by using wastes in their formulation and/or biomass as fuel for heat generation. Therefore, significant technological advances must entail a deeper analysis of the behavior of these materials from an environmental point of view, in order to determine the degree of stabilization or reaction residues within the matrix of material.
5) Roadmap to new ceramic products and processes in function of the medium- to long-term availability of raw materials. Contributions from existing industrial roadmaps (e.g., Ceram-Unie ‘Paving the Way to 2050’) and activities 1-4 will be convolved to propose a path for future activities on both industry and academia sides.

Description of the expected impacts

Improving the knowledge on ceramic raw materials: addressing technological issues in the search for new sources and including opportunities from secondary raw materials. Linking legal definitions and commercial classifications to actual market and technological processes.
Promoting a more efficient exploitation of known deposits: application of the “full-exploitation” concept to ceramic raw materials; drawing technological side-effects and possible hindrances in the ceramic production.
Strengthening the value chain: mining > processing > ceramic manufacturing > recycling > public sectors > civil society, by fostering an interplay between the mining and ceramic sectors.
Shedding light on the environmental and societal benefits from efficient exploitation and urban mining to supply economy (industrial production based in the EU and relative trades).
Detailed knowledge of the raw materials flow in the ceramic sector. Mid-term and long-term scenarios for ceramic raw materials availability and demand with establishment of possible supply gaps. Application of the circular economy model to the ceramic industry.

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics (ISTEC-CNR)Country: ItalyEntity profile: Governmental/public bodyRole within the commitment:

Coordination of the Commitment. Participation in the activities: 1) Identification of critical situations in raw materials supply. 2) Study of the ceramic raw materials flow in Europe. 3) Technological classification of ceramic raw materials. 4) Industry-oriented definition of feasible alternatives. 5) Roadmap to new ceramic products and processes.

Other partners

Instituto Geológico y Minero de España, IGMECountry: SpainEntity profile: Governmental/public bodyRole within the commitment: Participation in the activities: 1) Identification of critical situations in raw materials supply. 2) Study of the ceramic raw materials flow in Europe. 3) Technological classification of ceramic raw materials. 4) Industry-oriented definition of feasible alternatives. 5) Roadmap to new ceramic products and processes.

Fundación InnovarcillaCountry: SpainEntity profile: Private sector - SMERole within the commitment: Quantification of clay flow to the structural ceramic sector in Spain. Studying alternatives for reducing carbonates content in clay formulations due to their energetically inefficient behavior during ceramics firing. Feasibility for recycling slags/ashes from metallurgy and energy sector into ceramics, filling the gap between research and industrial validation. Dissemination of CRAM studies to clay quarries, waste managers and ceramic companies.

AICE-ITCCountry: SpainEntity profile: Private sector - SMERole within the commitment: AICE-ITC will gather information about the Spanish ceramic tile sector. Activities: 1) Identification of critical situations in raw materials supply. 2) Study of the ceramic raw materials flow in Europe. 4) Industry-oriented definition of feasible alternatives (primary and secondary raw materials) to current key resources 5) Roadmap to new ceramic products and processes in function of the medium- to long-term availability of raw materials.

University of AveiroCountry: PortugalEntity profile: AcademiaRole within the commitment: Design of recycling solutions for distinct wastes (e.g. metal-rich inorganic fluxes), on ceramic products and cements (eco-binders and geopolymers). Definition of added-value waste-based products.

University of JaénCountry: SpainEntity profile: AcademiaRole within the commitment: Contribute effectively to the reduction of different types of organic wastes from industry which are destined for incineration or landfill, by producing alternative ceramics materials. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for these materials and determination of the different flows from ceramics industry to order to obtain an environmental product declaration (IPD). Application of the concepts of circular economy to the ceramic industry

University of Modena & Reggio EmiliaCountry: ItalyEntity profile: AcademiaRole within the commitment: Contribute to inertization and valorization of different kind of wastes, by-products and end of wastes by means of hot and cold techniques for the obtainment of glasses. glass-ceramics, ceramics and geopolymers. Individuation of chemical procedure to extract valuable elements from wastes such as gold from WEEE. Further, UNIMORE has a strong collaboration with ceramic industries in the ceramc district situated in Sassuolo.

University of PatrasCountry: GreeceEntity profile: AcademiaRole within the commitment: UPatras is willing to work on the recycling of demolition wastes and the valorization of industrial and mining by-products (Fly Ash, Red Mud, Metallurgical Slag, FGD Gypsum, etc) to new products (ceramics and other materials). Moreover to set the principles for a “knowledge society group” on the concept that wastes should be considered as potential European Resources and several of them, as potential raw materials for the ceramic industry.

University of SevillaCountry: SpainEntity profile: AcademiaRole within the commitment: The University of Seville will contribute to: 1) Identification of critical situations in raw materials supply. 3) Technological classification of ceramic raw materials. 5) Roadmap to new ceramic products and processes.

SAM, Ceramic Research Center Inc.Country: TurkeyEntity profile: Private sector - SMERole within the commitment: SAM cooperates with ceramic and raw materials producers in Turkey and plans to contribute to: 1) Identification of critical situations in raw materials supply. 2) Study of the ceramic raw materials flow in Turkey. 3) Technological classification of ceramic raw materials. 4) Industry-oriented definition of feasible alternatives (more active fluxes as B-containing compounds). 5) Roadmap to new ceramic products and processes (e.g. dry grinding)

Centro Ceramico BolognaCountry: ItalyEntity profile: Private sector - SMERole within the commitment: Participation in the activities: 1) Technological classification of ceramic raw materials traditionally used in the ceramic industry; 2) Identification of new secondary raw materials potentially used in the ceramic industry; 3) Study of the secondary raw materials flow in Europe, in particular in relation with the most important European ceramic districts; 4) Roadmap to new ceramic products and processes.

University of GranadaCountry: SpainEntity profile: AcademiaRole within the commitment: Characterization and application of solid waste from various sources for energy purposes. Feasibility of thermochemical processes depending on the characteristics of a particular region. Bioremediation: removing pollutants present in aqueous media by biosorption at laboratory scale. Treatment of industrial effluents: practical application of biosorption at a higher scale, possible purification of real industrial effluents.

Instituto de Ciencias de la Construcción Eduardo Torroja, IETCC-CSICCountry: SpainEntity profile: Governmental/public bodyRole within the commitment: Industry-oriented definition of feasible alternatives (secondary raw materials) to current key resources. Application of the circular economy to the ceramic industry with a specific approach to recycling of urban and industrial wastes as raw materials for added-value waste-based products (especially glass-ceramics).

Cerámica Malpesa S.A.Country: SpainEntity profile: Private sector - SMERole within the commitment: Cerámica Malpesa S.A. will contribute to activities 4) Industry-oriented definition of feasible alternatives and 5) Roadmap to new ceramic products and processes

Existing EU Contribution: No

Period to implement the commitment: from 01-07-2016 to 30-06-2019