The project aims to develop and demonstrate cost-effective, resource and energy efficient and environmentally sound solutions for recycling and recovery of valuable raw materials considering both preprocessing and metallurgical refinery technologies. Core of the project is the development of flexible and modular combined metallurgy technologies adaptable to multiple EoL (End-of-Life) complex products, with particular focus on WEEE. The objectives are to:
-Maximize CRM and precious raw materials recycling from hi tech products to generate economic value and new jobs
-Increase environment and health protection
-Increase the return of investments and the success rate in the advanced, new generation recycling industry
-Exploit available data and experiences in recycling technologies for the recovery of secondary raw material from hi tech products
-Develop flexible down-scalable solutions
The partnership will address the objectives of the project in a multidisciplinary cooperation between research community and industry, including organizations such as the Knowledge Innovation Centre on Raw Materials and SMEs, through developing innovative technological solutions for recovery of materials from complex EoL hi tech products. The different actions will cover both the pre-processing phase including bill of materials and flows accounting and the technology phase for the recovery of materials.
Our conceptual model for the development of a cost-effective, resource and energy efficient and environmentally sound solutions for recycling and recovery of valuable raw materials from complex hi-tech products, covers the following tasks:
WP1 Technology and materials screening and product design
-Technology screening: analysis of current solutions and best practices. Mapping and assessment of current technological options (diffusion rates, constraints, economic sustainability, environmental impact) considering both preprocessing and metallurgical refinery technologies
-Product material inventory: for the analysis of key hi tech products’ composition (bill of materials), using available sources and pursuing active collaboration with producers
-Future scenarios on product material inventory: future outlooks of possible scenarios in the bill of materials of future hi tech products (by 2020)
-Liberation degree of materials (ie how complex is to separate different materials) in today’s and future’s hi tech products and feedback Eco design oriented for dismantling and recovery of precious metals, critical raw materials and, in general, of valuable materials in hi tech products
-Assessment of BAT for the determination of flexible down-sizable solutions to develop smart and efficient solutions applicable to small community; ie technologies must be smart even in terms of local environmental processing conditions and quantitative adaptability: more small well distributed plants instead than only a bigger one
WP2 Development of new technological solutions
-Design of innovative, modular and flexible combination of technological solutions for the recovery of metals from hi tech EoL WEEE including disassembling, pre-processing and comprehensive metallurgical recovery
-Realization and verification of a demonstration pilot plant to test process performance in terms of operational, technical and economics, including risk assessment and benefits to society and environment
-Exploitation of the pilot plant adapting it to other EoL complex products
-Realization of a real scale case study plant to implement a specific product/material centric recycling value chain
WP3 Technology evaluation and recommendations
-Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing analysis of the proposed technologies
-Business cases: for the implementation and deployment of new, optimal technologies
-Definition of optimal management system for material flow and industrial processes. Business and operational context evaluation: to define the overall business conditions required to assure a successful investment in the sector
-Technology framework definition: to develop a set of guidelines, recommendation and technical specifications for experts and entrepreneurs
-Dissemination of results, communication and support: to facilitate networking, investments and business development
-Coordination the correct implementation of the overall project, working packages and tasks, the achievement of the project objectives and the valorization of the project results
The project is expected to improve the knowledge and metrics of hi tech products recycling, enabling a quality and consistent growth of the European industry, built around advanced technologies and effective operating models to make the business cases work.
We expect that the new technological and management solutions developed by the project will improve the recycling of collected WEEE and the ratio between collection of WEEE and production of WEEE.
The multidisciplinary and cooperative approach will also improve the recycling of CRM and precious metals increasing their recycling rates. This true holistic approach that includes all the stakeholders will secure a better economic viability of recycling. We are confident the results of this project can be transferred beyond WEEE to vehicles and other complex EoL products. The value added of the project consists in the analysis and evaluation of the proposed technical solution and its replicability.
We believe this project will lead to the following benefits:
-Recyclers: Improved technical solution, exploitation of current investments, business performance improvements
-Downstream industries: Improved availability of critical raw materials and reduced price volatility
-Academia and research institutions: Development of a specialized technology framework for the optimization of hi tech products recycling
-Member states: improvement of the competiveness of the EU industries, including SME, Development of an economic framework consistent with the zero waste (circular economy; industrial symbiosis) paradigm; resources valorization within the territory
-Societal benefits: Creation of new professional figures and job opportunities
Projects outcomes can be exploited in other SIP action areas: I.1,I.4, II.4, II.5, II.7, II.8, II.10
The project innovates the process, the technologies and the business model of the recycling and recovery of valuable raw materials from complex EoL. Starting from existing technology in the preprocessing and metallurgical refinery of EoL products, the project selects and combines the best mix of technologies in a modular solution in order to make economically , societal and environmentally viable a recycling process on a territorial/local level. The modular solution allows recycling to evolve from a “purely metallic centric” approach to a more “material centric” one. Hopefully this will create a higher awareness regarding WEEE treatment at local level and will involve all local stakeholders in the process creating a virtuous business environment via the clear accountability of local stakeholders. Our partnership is a guarantee of a rapid development from pilot plant to real scale one.
ENEA will participate in all WP activities and coordinate the overall project activities, ensuring their compliance with the commitment. ENEA will ensure links to other SIP actions as specified in activities description, also through its participation in HLSG, Sherpa Group and OG1, OG2, OG3, OG4 of Raw Materials EIP. It will also guarantee the link to ERA-MIN through its participation as associate member and in the expert groups.