Logo LIFE

SUBproducts4LIFE - Innovative circular economy concepts by reusing industrial subproducts and waste

LIFE16 ENV/ES/000481


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Print   PDF version  
 

Contact details:

Contact person: Rafael Rodriguez
Tel: 34985104169
Fax: 34985104040
Email: clusteremacc@uniovi.es



Project description:

Background

Coal combustion products (CCPs) include residues such as fly ash and flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) gypsum. More than 105 million tonnes of CCPs are produced in the EU each year. Much of this goes to landfill where it causes environmental problems for soil and water.

Soils in many parts of Europe have been degraded by industrial activities. The European Environment Agency (EEA, 2012) estimates that there are about 2.5 million contaminated industrial sites in Europe, where a major cause of soil degradation is pollution caused by mining and metallurgical activities. Metal mining in particular leads to the presence of heavy metals that impair the physical, chemical and biological qualities of soils. Metal mining waste also negatively impacts the quality of surface and groundwater. According to the EEA, heavy metal pollution significantly affects 21 EU Member States and is the main cause of poor water quality in 12, including Spain. Data from Darden (2003), establish that there are more than 965,000 brownfield sites in Europe (4,900 in Spain), which at least occupy 214,000 ha. Due to the lack of harmonized legislation on the matter thousands of old contaminated sites are abandoned or not properly recovered. CCPs have the potential to be used for the remediation of contaminated industrial sites.


Objectives

The SUBproducts4LIFE project aims to demonstrate a highly-replicable industrial symbiosis model for the reuse of waste products from power stations and steel works in the remediation of contaminated soils and brownfield sites. This will involve the reuse of coal ash and gypsum from power stations and two types of steel slag.

Specific project objectives are to:

  • Increase the value chain of the four industrial residues and analyse their life-cycles;
  • Create an industrial symbiosis model between active industries (power stations and steel works) and contaminated sites (abandoned mines and metallurgical plants);
  • Achieve better soil management and land reuse, in active industries and in built-up areas on former mines;
  • Reduce the overall environmental impact of active industries and contaminated sites;
  • Improve soil and water conditions, by reducing arsenic (As) and mercury (Hg) content in soil and leachate water through ‘semi-natural’ processes; and
  • Prove the efficiency of alternative on-site techniques and methodologies to prevent contamination of water.
  • By promoting the recycling of CCPs, the project contributes to the implementation of the EU Waste Framework Directive. It will improve the quality of runoff water in the pilot areas, complying with the objectives of the Water Framework Directive and the EU Groundwater Directive. SUBproducts4LIFE is also in line with the Environmental Quality Standards Directive as it tackles mercury pollution in water and soil (mercury is classed as a priority substance in Annex II of the Directive). The soil remediation actions directly contribute to the implementation of the Soil Thematic Strategy.

    Expected results:

  • Recycling/reuse of 14 530 tonnes of waste - 12 310 tonnes of coal ash, 2 070 tonnes of gypsum from FGD and 150 tonnes of steelmaking slag, to be used in three pilot studies in two mining areas;
  • Re-use of 4 000 tonnes of blast furnace slag;
  • Verification at real-scale conditions of the “fixing capacity” of the four industrial sub-products;
  • A life-cycle assessment, circular economy plan and replicability and transfer plan for each of the four materials;
  • Phytoremediation of two 200-300 m2 parcels of land, the planting of at least 200 trees of native species, and the erection of animal safety fences;
  • Reclamation of mining waste deposits (total reclaimed surface of 5 000 m2) by the reuse of coal ash, gypsum and blast furnace slag, also leading to decreased contamination and improved stability;
  • Increased soil surface, with recovery of at least 25% of mining pilot areas currently sealed (5 000 m2 in upper waste deposit and 2 000 m2 in production area);
  • Improved water management, through rainwater collection with a perimeter ditch and effluent treatment with nine filter and water treatment trenches, reducing leachate water by 40-50%; and
  • At least a 20% reduction in arsenic and mercury contamination in soil and leachate water in pilot areas.


Results


Top


Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Industry-Production - Metal industry
Land-use & Planning - Soil and landscape protection
Waste - Waste recycling
Waste - Industrial waste


Keywords

metal products industry‚  soil decontamination‚  ash‚  industrial waste‚  waste recycling


Target EU Legislation

  • Water
  • Directive 2000/60 - Framework for Community action in the field of water policy (23.10.2000)
  • Directive 2006/118 - Protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration (12.12.2006)
  • Directive 2008/105 - Environmental quality standards in the field of water policy (16.12.2008)
  • Waste
  • Directive 2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.200 ...
  • Land & Soil
  • COM(2006)231 - “Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection” (22.09.2006)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


Top


Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Universidad de Oviedo
Type of organisation University
Description Oviedo University (UNIOVI) is a public higher education and research institution located in Asturias (Spain). It has around 18 000 undergraduate and 8 000 postgraduate students and 2 000 research staff, in over 30 faculties and engineering schools on three campuses. The University has created two main research clusters: Biomedicine and Health and Energy, and Environment and Climate Change.
Partners CUESTIONES ECONOMICAS S.L., Spain HIDROELECTRICA DEL CANTABRICO SA, Spain BIOSFERA Consultoría Medioambiental S.L, Spain Escorias y Derivados S.A., Spain TECNOLOGÍA DEL MEDIO AMBIENTE Y MINERÍA S.L., Spain NSTITUTO ASTURIANO DE PREVENCIÓN DE RIESGOS LABORALES, Spain

Top




Project reference LIFE16 ENV/ES/000481
Duration 01-SEP-2017 to 31-AUG -2021
Total budget 1,470,296.00 €
EU contribution 882,176.00 €
Project location Asturias(España)

Top

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