LIFE GREENZO - Demonstrative pilot plant for the valorisation of non-ferrous metal waste

LIFE13 ENV/ES/000173

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Contact details:

Contact person: Jaime VILAPLANA
Tel: 34965554475
Fax: 34965554490
Email: jaime.vilaplana@aiju.info

Project description:


Zamak is a family of alloys, with a base metal of zinc (Zn) and alloying elements of aluminium (Al), magnesium (Mg) and copper (Cu). It is used in injection-moulding in various industries (e.g. ironwork, automotive parts, die-cast toys).

According to data from the European Foundry Association, 3.5 million tonnes of zamak was smelted in Europe in 2011. The companies in Europe that use and process zamak also generate an estimated 1 million tonnes of hazardous and non-hazardous waste every year, which is deposited directly into landfill sites, giving rise to significant environmental problems (e.g. soil pollution). However, this waste contains a variable amount of zinc alloy that can be recovered as zinc oxide.

Zinc oxide is the fourth largest exported mineral worldwide: According to figures from the International Zinc Association, a total of more than 1.2 million tonnes was consumed worldwide in 2011, with Europe accounting for around 300 000 tonnes.


The project aims to develop and test, at pre-industrial scale, a pilot plant using plasma technology to obtain zinc oxide from zamak waste (mainly foundry slag and sludge).

The zinc oxide obtained will meet all the technical specifications required to allow for its reuse. The processes will be tested and validated in two industrial sectors: the manufacture of rubber and chemical catalysts.

The new technology will enable significant reductions in the quantity of hazardous and non-hazardous waste that is currently sent to landfill. It will also increase the competitiveness and sustainability of this type of industrial process.

Expected results: The main expected results are: 1. The demonstration of a new technology to facilitate the recovery of zinc oxide from industrial waste; and 2. The validation of the use of the recovered zinc oxide in the manufacture of products in the rubber and chemicals’ sectors.

Over the course of the project, 1 600 kg of zinc oxide will be produced from 4 000 kg of residues.

If successful, the beneficiary believes the process has the potential to exploit over 1 million tonnes of the waste in Europe alone.



Environmental issues addressed:


Industry-Production - Metal industry
Waste - Waste reduction - Raw material saving
Waste - Waste use
Waste - Hazardous waste
Waste - Industrial waste


waste treatment‚  metal products industry‚  hazardous waste‚  waste management‚  industrial waste‚  waste use

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Asociación de investigación de la industria del juguete, conexas y afines
Type of organisation Research institution
Description Founded in 1985, the AIJU Technology Centre is a private, non profit-making research centre, specialising in the areas of children’s toys and leisure products.

Its environment department has specific expertise in the use of clean technologies, and in adapting to new environmental legislation, life-cycle assessment (LCA) and the eco-design of products. The centre’s energy department works on new devices for the generation and storage of energy, as well as on the development of automated processes to produce ‘clean’ fuels.

Partners WORTEUROP(WORT EUROP, S.L.), Spain KAREY(CAUCHOS KAREY, S.A.), Spain ITQ-CSIC(Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas), Spain


Project reference LIFE13 ENV/ES/000173
Duration 01-JUN-2014 to 31-MAY -2017
Total budget 1,062,170.00 €
EU contribution 525,910.00 €
Project location Comunidad Valenciana(España)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version