Innovation Projects

The ambitious vision of EIT RawMaterials is realised by the creation of a structured collaboration within the Knowledge Triangle, which is the basis of the EIT model.

Call for Projects 2022 (KAVA 9) is open!

Call for Projects 2022

EIT RawMaterials Projects Timeline

385 Projects
Project Portfolio
Innovation Themes
Innovation Areas/Lighthouses

Substitution

WAPOL: Waste materials for Antimony substitution in flame retarded POLymers

Project duration: 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2020

Objective

Within the automotive sector, the use of polymer-based materials is increasing fast due to their positive impact on weight reduction (CO2 emission). The emergence of strict regulations and protocols that keep tabs on the safety in end-user industries has given a real push to the global market for plastics with requested fire retardant and self-extinguishing properties. Moreover, the forecast widespread adoption and use of fully electrical vehicles (FEVs) worldwide in the next decades will further expand the need for FR plastics. The joint use of antimony- and bromine-based compounds is known to be a very effective flame retardant (FR) system in plastics; however, antimony shows several stringent supply and toxicity risks. Moreover, several directives of the European Union (such as RoHS and WEEE) aim at reducing the use of potentially harmful substances, such as bromine compounds, in manufactured goods. For less strict fire regulations, the solution available on the market for substituting antimony-bromine system is represented by the use of phosphorus-based FRs, which are obtained starting from phosphate rock. Nonetheless, also the phosphate rock has been recognized as a critical raw material (CRM). Therefore, the market is looking for alternative solutions to replace antimony-bromine FR and reducing the use of phosphorous based alternative FRs, but still effective in meeting required fire performances.

The solution (technology)

The WAPOL project will develop flame retardant (FR) polymers for the automotive sector using no antimony- and bromine-based compounds and low amount of phosphorus-based FR. Fly and/or bottom ashes, such as wastes deriving from processes like incineration of municipal solid waste will be used, after suitable treatment, as main substituents for critical and/or toxic raw materials. Other wastes from metallurgical industries (for example microsilica) will be used too since they are involved in ashes treatments, alongside commercial sulphur- and nitrogen-based compounds. The FR polymers developed will fulfil strict regulations on fire reaction in the automotive sector. The project will also have an impact on extracting value out of the residue stocks since it will allow using waste materials (from MSWI and metallurgical industry) to obtain secondary raw materials to be used in high-added value market such FR polymers. Moreover, it will contribute to developing Materials for a sustainable European mobility Industry since in the electric mobility it is expected that the use of FR polymers will increase steadily due to their combination of lightness, fire safety and temperature resistance. The FR polymers developed will be fully recyclable.

Partnership

  • Università degli Studi di Padova (University of Padova), Italy (Lead Partner)
  • Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A. (CRF – C.R.F.), Italy
  • Iris Ambiente srl, Italy
  • RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB, Sweden
  • UNISMART PADOVA ENTERPRISE SRL, Italy
  • VELAWORKS s.r.o., Slovakia

For more information, please visit WAPOL website.

Substitution

WEAREND2: High-End Wear-Resistant WC-Co Materials

Project duration: 1 September 2019 – 31 December 2022

Objective

Wear causes huge material and energy losses to industry – there is a clear need for better materials to increase durability. WEAREND satisfies that need by novel and hard-to-copy patent pending material solution. Competitive edge for European manufacturing industry can be created by increasing the lifetime of products by 30% and offering substitute for hard chromium coatings. Use of critical raw materials is decreased by longer lasting products.

The solution (technology)

Wear leads to huge material and energy losses in industry: wear and wear-related failures cause 3 % of the world’s total energy consumption by remanufacture of worn parts and spare equipment. Wear-resistant coatings, so called hard metal coatings, such as tungsten carbide composite (WC-Co) coatings, have been utilized successfully to enhance lifetime of components and that way increase productivity. However, continuously increasing efficiency demands in production set even higher requirements and needs for better materials. Despite the overall good wear resistance of WC-Co coatings and components, the weak point is the current microstructure with relatively large inhomogenities. These current microstructure details, and thereby associated failures of the coatings and the corresponding components, could be avoided by making the leap to nanotechnologies. Nanostructured solutions can provide considerably better properties such as increased wear resistance and smaller surface roughness. However, nanostructured carbide powders have suffered issues like their thermal stability in synthesis and processing. Until now, these challenges have limited nanostructured solutions commercial breakthrough.

Such challenges can now be overcome by a novel and hard-to-copy material approach (patent pending on processing of nano-carbide WC-Co powders for coatings). The material solution has been demonstrated and validated in relevant environment (TRL5) using thermal spray coating technology. In the WEAREND project, this approach, the powder production and the coating technology processes will be up scaled and validated to industrial exploitable level aiming to market introduction within 3 years after project completion. The commercialization potential is high as wear resistant materials, wear resistant coatings and the tool markets are huge. By utilizing this novel material solution, a 30% products lifetime increase (compared to current state of art for hard facing solutions) will be targeted, satisfying the industrial need for increased durability. Due to lowered wear, the new longer lasting products will save valuable natural resources by decreasing the consumption of critical raw materials. Additionally, the new solution can replace the critical production of hard-chromium coatings. There are current obstacles and problems for the production of conventional hard chromium coatings because of usage of toxic and environmentally unsafe chemicals. Therefore, affected companies are urgently looking for promising replacement solutions. Hence, novel material approach will generate profitable business, providing beneficial impact for both environment and health (demonstrated here by life cycle assessment, LCA).

The WEAREND project consortium covers the whole value chain from the industrial hard material powder producer (Umicore Specialty Powders France) to Original Equipment Manufacturers as coatings end-users in their products (Valmet Technologies Oy and SMS Group GmbH) together with powder and coating process developers (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd and IOT Surface Engineering Institute at the RWTH Aachen University) as well as environment, health & safety experts (CEA French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission). The consortium shows good references in this technology field and capabilities to address the decreased environmental and safety concerns as compared to, e.g., reference hard-chromium coatings. Umicore will pilot the powder manufacturing in industrial level, and Valmet and SMS will demonstrate the materials, powders and coating performance in relevant application environments.

Partnership

  • French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, France
  • Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen), Germany
  • SMS group GmbH, Germany
  • Umicore Specialty Powders France, France
  • VALMET Technologies Oy, Finland
  • Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. VTT (Lead Partner), Finland
Recycling

WEEE REC: Upscaling of key technology for a recycling facility for 30,000 t/a WEEE-concentrate

Project status: Completed.

Objective

The project will upscale an innovative technology for metallurgical treatment of up to 100% Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) concentrate.

The solution (technology)

The key technology is a novel smelting furnace in combination with an optimised separation and refining process which allows the treatment of up to 100% low-grade WEEE-concentrate, offering the possibility of concentrating and recovering base, precious and special metals (gold, silver, platinum group elements, copper and nickel).

Partnership

  • Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria (Lead Partner)
  • METTOP GmbH, Austria
  • PolyMet Solutions GmbH, Austria
  • SMS Group, Germany
  • Technische Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm, Germany
  • UrbanGold GmbH, Austria
Mineral Processing/Resource Efficiency

WhISPER: Waterless Iron Silicate Production with Energy Recovery

Project duration: 1 January 2019 – 31 January 2021

Objective

In the pyrometallurgical copper smelting process the main product is copper, but there are other products generated in consequence of the extraction of the ore, this is the case of the Iron Silicates (commonly called copper slags) which are the largest co-product generated during the smelting and converting processes of the pyrometallurgical route: for every ton of copper production about 2.2 ton of copper slag is generated. The European copper sector generates approximately 5 million tons of iron silicates in the pyrometallurgical route in the EU, containing valuable metals and other compounds.  Traditionally, copper slags were considered as undesirable waste materials that had to be discarded at an additional cost. However, it can be used in several applications in the construction sector.

The solution (technology)

The objective of WhISPER is to substitute the actual technology for the granulation of the iron silicate by new technology in the copper sector which is more sustainable, from the environmental and from the economic point of view. Thanks to the atomization technology, water consumption will be drastically reduced, and heat will be recovered in the granulation process of the copper slags, so operational costs will decrease significantly and will make the process greener. The second benefit of the technology is that the quality of the copper slag is expected to improve, and so the product will have an added value. The new applications of the iron silicate will be studied in the project.

Partnership

  • Atlantic Copper S.L.U., Spain (Lead Partner)
  • Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium
  • ResourceFull BVBA, Belgium
  • Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen, RWTH Aachen, Germany
  • Université de Bordeaux, France
  • Zavod za gradbenistvo Slovenije, ZAG (Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute), Slovenia
Circular Economy

WinSmartRM. Win-win Strategies in Mobility Transition – Road and Map for RM Stakeholders – The mobility transition – a new chance for resource-rich developing countries

Project duration: 17 June 2019 – 31 December 2019

Objective

This project focuses on the generation of intelligence, data and information related to the framework conditions to boost innovation relevant to the present and future Mobility Transition trends. It is aimed to identify main conditions and barriers to support innovation in this area, particularly for the EU-Africa context. The information is sourced from a wide range of stakeholders in the context of Mobility Transition, with emphasis on resource-rich countries in Africa and its unique selling points compared to other similar stakeholders globally. The ultimate goal is to create win-win situations for Africa and Europe where both can successfully contribute to a sustainable Mobility Transition in line with Sustainable Development Goals, the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Paris Climate Agreement, Conflict Minerals monitoring supply chains and other key directives, in particular the EC communication on A Clean Planet for All – A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, moderns, competitive and climate neutral economy.

The solution (technology)

Crucial information will be gathered by means of: firstly, a thorough stakeholders’ analysis encompassing the full 8 stakeholder categories, their local-to-global geographic impact, as well as an assessment of their specific impact on the sector either hindering or promoting actions, in the immediate, medium and long term. Secondly, a web-based forum composed by relevant representatives of those areas, followed by a face-to-face workshop in Brussels and the formation of a steering board. Thirdly, a face-to-face workshop with national, regional and local representatives of African stakeholders will be carried on with the support of the GATEWAY II Consortium, who will in synergy facilitate its distribution channels, networks and logistics. Finally, a web-based analysis of the results produced will be implemented and made publicly available after thorough consultation with EIT RawMaterials.

Deliverables of this project are 2 reports with recommendations, 1 infogram, 1 visual summary, 1 ppt presentation, 1 pdf description and 1 excel spreadsheet analysed via graphs.

Beneficiaries of this project are the full EIT RawMaterials Community who will be contacted throughout the project and after the results are produced. Also, the involved stakeholders in the EU and Africa, in particular, will benefit from this project results.

This project addresses the data gap problem in relation to how best supporting innovation on the new trends of Mobility. In particular, for the security of supply and responsible production and consumption of minor metals required for the implementation of modern transport systems via electric vehicles.

Partnership

  • Trinity Dublin College, Ireland (Lead Partner)
  • Aalto-Korkeakoulusaatio (Aalto University), Finland
  • Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas M.P., CSIC (Spanish National Research Council), Spain
  • Fundación Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Spain
  • Geologian tutkimuskeskus, GTK (Geological Survey of Finland), Finland
  • Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU), Sweden
  • Sandvik AB, Sweden
  • Sandvik SRP AB, Sweden
  • Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
  • Technische Hochschule Georg Agricola Bochum (THGA Bochum), Germany
  • Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg (TUBAF), Germany

WM-CRM: Blended learning Course Waste Management and CRM’s

Project duration: 1 January 2018 – 31 December 2019

Objective

The secondary source of critical raw materials (CRM’s) becomes more and more important. Therefore it is necessary for civil servants, especially policy makers, students and manufacturers to learn more about waste management and CRM’s.For this a MOOC has been set up as a low threshold approach, followed by a hands-on course, with practical assignments and visits to leading companies in waste management, recycling and remanufacturing.

The solution (technology)

The secondary source of critical raw materials becomes more and more important. Therefore it is necessary for civil servants, especially policy makers, students and manufacturers to learn more about waste management in general and the newest developments. Because most of these professionals and students have a busy schedule, a MOOC has been set up. The MOOC focusses on the problems with CRM’s such as the issues of a resource resilient Europe and environmental problem of mismanagement discarded CRM’s. The MOOC also offers not only solutions but also interesting new business opportunities, by also focussing on psychology and waste collection systems, recycling systems and remanufacturing. The MOOC also touches the product design influencing options in recycling and remanufacturing, and links with circular economy.

A MOOC does have the draw-back that the attendees can not have hands-on experience. Therefore a matching 2-day course is set up, with practical assignments and visits to leading companies in waste management, recycling and remanufacturing. The MOOC is in English and for free. There are 6 lessons in 6 weeks, in which there is the opportunity for dialog, questions and discussions.

Partnership

For more information, please visit the project web page.

Sustainable Mining

X-TRIM: X-ray transmission in mining applications

Project duration: 1 January 2016 – 31 December 2018

Objective

The main objective of the project is to take the existing X-ray and sorting technology at least to TRL 7 (system prototype demonstration in operational environment) and to introduce X-ray technology to the RM sector. A prototype will be built and tested with real material first in

The solution (technology)

A prototype will be built and tested with real material first in laboratory environment before setting it up as an at-line system at a mine and finally integrating it into the production line.

Partnership

  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (Fraunhofer), Germany (Lead Partner)
  • LTU Business AB, Sweden
  • Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden
  • Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB, LKAB, Sweden