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Лого на Европейската комисия
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Objectives of the commitment

  • Development of clean and sustainable technologies for the production of SRM from wastes and byproducts in the construction industry, focusing on wastes from natural stones machining and construction demolition.
  • Strategic, environmental and technical specific objectives will be achieved addressing the longterm sustainability of European critical raw materials production, supply and recycling, implementing more ambitious environmental standards in waste management and reuse and improving the competitiveness of the European production of secondary raw materials.
  • New secondary raw materials for construction-composite materials (inert part) and metallurgical industry (heavy metal part).
  • A complete characterization of wastes coming from three pilot areas/use cases.
  • New market opportunities and employment
  • Trust of the society in products containing sustainable SRM.

Description of the activities

The program involves partners from both academia and industries in order to develop activities with theoretical fundamentals validated by practical evidences.
The main activities are:

a. Technical specific activities
-Scope of case studies (Spain, Italy - Finland and Portugal) and sample collection.
-Sample characterization and analysis of the results.
-Development of a general methodology for the characterization of construction wastes and byproducts in the form of sludge and fine particles.
-Mineral-metal fractions separation processes and conditioning processes for the obtained fractions.
-Waste depuration treatments for the aqueous part resulting from the separation processes of the sludge.
-Mineral fraction conditioning/purification processes.
-Metal fraction conditioning/purification processes.
-Demonstration of the use of the mineral fraction in different applications for the construction sector (bitumen for asphalt, component in structural concrete, binder or pozzolanic additive), the composites sector (polymer concrete and masterbatch) and the metallurgy sector (recycled sintered beads for diamond wire and other sintered elements).

b. Horizontal activities
-LCA, LCC and risk assessment: quality of the results, from an environmental and safety standpoint.
-Application of co-design, co-development and co-implementation methodology: quality of the results, from a socio-economic standpoint.
-Communication and dissemination.
-Search of synergies and capitalization of technical activities and results.
A base activity in WeCARE defines and forecasts the quantity, content and quality of by-products and wastes produced by de-construction and stone cutting: it allows identifying gaps and problems in the production chain to be addressed and solved through the developed approaches and new technologies. The mineral separation processes for the different kinds of wastes aim to valorize them. Separation of the inert fraction from the metallic one will be combined with the conditioning of both the fractions in order to optimize the following technology processes for secondary raw material (SRM): transformation of the obtained pretreated wastes and by-products into homogeneous and stable raw materials, with technical properties that make them competitive against similar primary raw materials. The results validation pass through the realization and characterization of lab-prototypes using the following SRMs: recycled calcium carbonate in plastic; hard stone muds in polymer concrete; demolition waste in construction as binders and poozolans; metallic fraction in metallurgy. The activities of validation will be supported by LCA and risk assessments in order to define the effective improvement reached at the implementation and supply chain level.

The commitment plans to look for
-to contact and identify synergies with other projects and initiatives at European and international level;
-to analyze the applicability of the new developed technologies into other industrial sectors;
-to assess the economic impact of the results, thus developing particularized exploitation plans for the selected pilot areas, taking into account geographical, administrative, social, environmental and economic characteristics of each region;
-to develop general guidelines for analyzing the implantation feasibility of the new proposed value chains into different applications;
-to develop general technical guidelines for optimizing the generation of wastes and by-products in the natural stone and deconstruction industry.

Description of the expected impacts

WeCARE commitment aims to exploit wastes coming from cutting of natural stones and from deconstruction processes as a sustainable source for the production of SRMs and CRMs.
These wastes are generally contaminated with heavy metals such as cobalt and tungsten, which are toxic, responsible of high environmental impacts and critical (supply risk). Clarification of sludge and reuse of metal and mineral fractions into industrial processes will improve their environmental and social sustainability.
It has been estimated that the global quantity of stone production is about 130 million of tons and that the waste production is about 190 million of tons. WeCARE aims to suggest practical solutions to deal with the consequent EU priority issue of storage and valorization of wastes. Furthermore, cobalt is classified as a CRM: its supply is unstable, its price is variable and strongly controlled by the industrial demand. Cobalt comes mostly from Extra-UE and it is classified as a conflict material because of its extensive production in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Also in the case of tungsten, Europe is highly dependent on import (75-85% from China). WeCARE role is to lower these supply risks with a sustainable production of these heavy metals through higher recovery rates from wastes. WeCARE commitment will have positive effects on SMEs, which can profit of economically and environmentally sustainable solutions for waste management and SRM production. Moreover, WeCARE will generate a large potential market and create new jobs opportunities in recycling processes and applications. The sustainable feature of products realized with SRW will enhance the competitiveness against low-quality products.
WeCARE project will improve the awareness of society in SMR production in EU.

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: Fundación Centro Tecnológico Andaluz de la PiedraCountry: SpainEntity profile: Private sector - SMERole within the commitment:

Managing the whole project Stone muds clarification and analysis Other conditioning processes for muds Testing of the obtained raw materials in different applications Dissemination activities to the stone sector

Other partners

COFIPLAST

Name of partner: COFIPLAST Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SMERole within the commitment: End-user - generation of Secondary Raw Materials Muds provider (granites, concrete, steel)
Italian demonstrator (multi wires cut)

AZVI

Name of partner: AZVI Country: Spain Entity profile: Private sector - large companyRole within the commitment: End-user – use of Secondary Raw Materials Demonstration of final uses in the construction sector

Politecnico di Torino

Name of the organisation: Politecnico di Torino Country: ItalyEntity profile: AcademiaRole within the commitment: Stone wastes analysis and characterization (mineralogical and merceological composition, physical and mechanical characterization). Research of methods for waste treatment, separation and conditioning. Comparison between different muds (Luserna, marbles, granites). Research of methods for reuse possibilities of muds (polymer concrete, metallurgy industry) Heavy metal separation, conditioning and characterization. Validation of technologies.

GTK

Name of the organisation: GTKCountry: FinlandEntity profile: Governmental/public bodyRole within the commitment: Analysis, characterization and in situ monitoring. Quarries involvement in the project (soapstones and granites).

ENVIPARK

Name of the organisation: ENVIPARK Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME Role within the commitment: Analysis of contaminated water LCC and LCA. Support in the dissemination activities.

Centro Habitat

Name of the organisation: Centro HabitatCountry: PortugalEntity profile: Private sector - SMERole within the commitment: Dissemination and communication to the habitat sector. Look for synergies in this sector/cluster with other projects.

CTP

Name of the organisation: CTPCountry: BelgiumEntity profile: Private sector - SME Role within the commitment: Development of mineral processing technologies of fine waste purification and recovery. Technologies for metal purification. Development of industrial applications for secondary raw materials.

SWEREA

Name of the organisation: SWEREA Country: SwedenEntity profile: Private sector - SME Role within the commitment: Life Cycle and Risk Assessment

RCD

Name of the organisation: RCDCountry: PortugalEntity profile: Private sector - SME Role within the commitment: Reuse/reprocess of wastes from deconstruction. The potentiality of re-use and recycling of deconstruction wastes, improving existing uses to higher value-added applications.

Existing EU Contribution: No

Period to implement the commitment: from 01-09-2016 to 02-09-2019