European Commission - Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

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TOWARDS A RAW MATERIALS STRATEGY FOR THE EUROPEAN CERAMIC INDUSTRY

Acronym: 
CRAM
Abstract / executive summary: 

The ceramic industry is important for the European economy (€28 bn production value; 200,000 direct jobs; €4.6 bn positive trade balance; 80% SMEs) and a leading technological sector. Technological innovation in the ceramic industry has been deeply changing the manufacturing cycle and the requirements for raw materials. Classic categories are practically useless to estimate the effective potential of industrial minerals for ceramics and to reveal possible criticalities. Besides the growing concern on waste recycling, a recognized approach to assess the actual potential of residues as ceramic raw materials is still lacking.
CRAM wants to gather information, specific for the ceramic sector, and to elaborate tools that could help drawing a strategy for raw materials in the European ceramic industry. The main CRAM actions will cover:
1) identification of critical situations in raw materials supply in order to create a CRMs list from the ceramic industry viewpoint;
2) study of the ceramic raw materials flow in Europe with case studies on key production countries (Spain, Italy and Turkey);
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 trying to apply the circular economy concepts to the ceramic sector (technological and environmental feasibility, LCA, design of recycling solutions for distinct wastes; definition of added-value waste-based products);
5) roadmap to new ceramic products and processes in function of the medium- to long-term availability of raw materials.

Coverage of the Action Areas referred to above: 

Activities on DATA INPUT will cover the organization of databases incorporating data and information of primary and secondary ceramic raw materials; maps and evaluation of European stocks (primary mineral deposits, waste facilities, and their state). For secondary raw materials, the urban mine inventory will include also materials flows of end-of-life products throughout the recycling chain. Information on existing techniques/technologies and business models that support circular economy will be considered with emphasis on design trends, new products, material use, and treatment technologies which impact how materials are collected and treated.
Activities on RAW MATERIALS INTELLIGENCE will cover methods and tools, in particular: ceramic raw materials statistics (including waste statistics), LCA on case-studies, forecasting global supply/demand by the European ceramic industry (based on benchmarking available information), prediction scenarios drew on global primary, recycling and substitution basis. Analysis on policy, regulations, and trade issues could be included.
Activities on END-OF-LIFE PRODUCTS RECYCLING will cover the review of innovative technological solutions for recovery of useful materials from complex end-of-life products that could be exploited as ceramic raw materials, so contributing to improve the economic sustainability of recovery operations.
Activities on RECYCLING OF CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION WASTE (CDW) will cover the review of technological solutions for the valorization of CDW as ceramic raw materials, by assessing the technological, technical, environmental and economic feasibility. The existence of possible hindrances and bottlenecks to the CDW recycling in the ceramic production will be addressed.

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.

Expected innovation outcomes: 
New products to the market
New technologies
New ideas to the market
Comments: 

Being focused on the EU ceramic sector, the present commitment is expected to provide outcomes on both the Knowledge Based and the Technology pillars. All the activities are industry-oriented: results will be conveyed to companies in the mining and ceramic production; a proper involvement of the manufacturers’ associations will be pursued at both the national and EU levels. Expected outcomes will be useful to:
- improve the knowledge on ceramic raw materials (primary and secondary sources) for practical effects on definition of the mineral potential in the EU;
- draw mid- to long-term scenarios for raw materials supply, involving circular economy concepts with effects on innovation paths in ceramic products and processes;
- envisage new ideas for a more efficient use of resources: technological obstacles and possible shortcuts to get a full exploitation of deposits and wastes.

Name of the coordinating organisation: 
Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics (ISTEC-CNR)
Country: 
Italy
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role 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: 
Name of partner: 
Instituto Geológico y Minero de España, IGME
Country: 
Spain
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role 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.
Name of partner: 
Fundación Innovarcilla
Country: 
Spain
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role 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.
Name of partner: 
AICE-ITC
Country: 
Spain
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role 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.
Name of partner: 
University of Aveiro
Country: 
Portugal
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role 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.
Name of partner: 
University of Jaén
Country: 
Spain
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role 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
Name of partner: 
University of Modena & Reggio Emilia
Country: 
Italy
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role 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.
Name of partner: 
University of Patras
Country: 
Greece
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role 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.
Name of partner: 
University of Sevilla
Country: 
Spain
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role 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.
Name of partner: 
SAM, Ceramic Research Center Inc.
Country: 
Turkey
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role 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)
Name of partner: 
Centro Ceramico Bologna
Country: 
Italy
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role 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.
Name of partner: 
University of Granada
Country: 
Spain
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role 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.
Name of partner: 
Instituto de Ciencias de la Construcción Eduardo Torroja, IETCC-CSIC
Country: 
Spain
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role 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).
Name of partner: 
Cerámica Malpesa S.A.
Country: 
Spain
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role 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: 
Friday, 1 July, 2016 to Sunday, 30 June, 2019