Innovation Projects

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

Call for Projects 2021 is closed! The next call will open in October 2020.

Call for Projects 2022

EIT RawMaterials Projects Timeline

319 Projects
Project Portfolio
Innovation Themes
Innovation Areas/Lighthouses

Exploration

2D3Dscopy: Resource Characterization: from 2D to 3D microscopy

Project duration: 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2022

The world is 3D but data used for resource characterization is limited to 2D. A new product integrates 3D image data obtained by X-ray tomography with process simulation tools used in the raw materials sector. Customers will profit from the novel analytical approach, allowing for unprecedented optimization of recovery, reduction of losses and increased energy efficiency. The market potential within the EU is estimated to be 30 Mio Euro per year.

Objective

Efficient utilization of raw materials requires a combination of accurate analytical data together with reliable simulation software. This allows the reliable prediction of the recovery of valuable components as well as the characterization of residues generated during mineral processing and metallurgical extraction.

The solution (technology)

In this project, we develop a service and licenced software that will merge quantitative 2-dimensional (2D) scanning electron microscopy data with 3-dimensional- (3D) energy sensitive X-ray tomography. Using 3D data instead of the common 2D data including particle breakage models will yield a major breakthrough in mineral liberation and grinding fineness and in the estimation of sortability of the ore. The new method will be used for quality control on the material itself as well as prediction of the behaviour of the material in the next processing steps. More efficient exploitation of the ore goes together with less energy consumption and less waste (tailings) production. The fact that 4% of the world’s electricity is consumed for crushing and grinding of ores highlights the impact of a reduction in energy: By application of the new technique for resource characterization, it is estimated to save 5% over the entire process from exploitation to refining. If only 5% of the European market applies this technique the savings in comminution are 38 Mio Euro.

Partnership

  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V. (HZDR), Germany (Lead Partner)
  • Ghent University, Belgium
  • Outotec Oy, Finland
  • TESCAN XRE NV, Belgium
Mineral Processing/Resource Efficiency

2sDR: Upscaling of the two step dust recycling process for EAF dust

Project duration: 1 January 2020 – 31 December 21

Objective

Steel mills are keeping an eye on technologies to treat their own dust in the most effective way.
This project establishes a regional recycling solution running economically with 12,000-13,000 to of dust per year, allowing “zero waste”, multi metal recycling. The two-step-dust recycling (2sDR) consists of a clinkering and a subsequent reduction step to extract zinc oxide and an iron alloy. The resulting slag can be used as construction material.

The solution (technology)

Zinc is mainly used for the galvanization of steel products to protect them against corrosion. After the lifetime of these products (e.g. car bodies or construction elements) they return to the steel mill as scrap, if recycled. The Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) is the common recycling facility for this purpose and uses up to 100% scrap. Within this process, roughly 20 kg of zinc containing dust is produced per ton of steel, ending up in 1.3 mio tons of so called EAF dust per year in Europe. At present, only about half of this amount is treated in huge centralized facilities, recovering only zinc. The novel ‘2sDR’ (two-step dust recycling) process represents the first zero-waste technology for zinc recycling and offers a flexible, environmental friendly and effective solution for steel mills to operate their own recycling process avoiding transport or disposal costs. The process consists of two steps, using two different metallurgical technologies: The material is clinkered in a short rotary kiln to remove harmful elements and then reduced in an Electric Arc Furnace. Zinc is extracted via the off gas as Oxide and can be sold, iron occurs in form of an alloy that is reused in iron and steel industry. The residual slag can be used for construction purposes. During the project duration, this process will be up scaled to semi-industrial size, technological and financial viability will be proven. Based on the outcome of this project, the technology is brought to market and the first recycling plant using the proposed ‘2sDR’technology shall be erected in Austria.

Partnership

  • Montanuniversität Leoben (Lead Partner), Austria
  • ARP Aufbereitung, Recycling und Prüftechnik Gesellschaft m.b.H, Austria
  • Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • Primetals Technologies Austria GmbH, Austria
  • Stahl- und Walzwerk Marienhütte GmbH, Austria
  • Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, Slovenia
Circular Economy

3D-ACCELERATOR: Virtual learning environment for 3D-metal printing

Project duration: 1 September 2019 – 31 December 2022

Objective

The 3D ACCELERATOR-AMASI project develops a virtual learning environment for Additive Manufacturing. The mainstream education system is insufficient in supporting industry with the skills needed to implement the technology. The environment is built to let all stakeholders, from business to R&D, to benefit from the training. The main target is to increase the knowledge in companies, to allow a technological revolution to become the new reality.

The solution (technology)

The development of additive manufacturing in industry will require strong input from three areas: materials producers, equipment producers and manufacturers of equipment using metal parts. Any learning process needs to include aspects from all these three areas, and the knowhow and input from actors in materials and equipment manufacturing industries are crucial for the learning on engineers in the user industries.

Partnership

  • Aalto-Korkeakoulusaatio (Aalto University)
  • Centre de Recherches Métallurgiques asbl (CRM Group)
  • EIT Raw Materials GmbH
  • Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (KU Leuven)
  • Kemira Oyj
  • Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology
  • Metso Minerals Oy
  • Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. VTT)
Sustainable Mining

3DBRIEFCASE: Learning the use of minerals through non conventional and digital tools

Project duration: 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2021

Objective

The 3D BRIEFCASE Project seeks to bring mineral raw materials and mining closer to society as a whole. Its ultimate goal is that citizens from an early age and students, get to know and understand from where the mineral products they use in daily life come from what minerals can be found in their environment and for what are being exploited, and how our daily purchasing decisions affect the social environment of the people who live in countries with mineral resources exploitation. It shows that it is not possible to live without minerals and without mines but, through example and a friendly approach, they will see that mining is a modern activity and that its societal and environment impact can be mitigated by e.g. implementation of zero waste mining as part of circular economy, ensuring sustainable mineral extraction, by not endangering the supply of future generations.

The solution (technology)

During the first part of the project (2019) we are developing new BRIEFCASEs covering sensitive aspects of the mining activities and focusing on primary school pupils to students (6-14 years old) and their teachers. The Project has generated practical and theoretical contents for the physical briefcases which cover the following minerals: cobalt, col-tan (Columbo-Tantalite), diamond, germanium, gold, lithium, and tin, and is developing the virtual material (web) compiling all these materials to offer an interactive tool that can be self-used by pupils. Some workshops will be offered in the partner’s locations during the end of the current year, to teach teachers how to use this tool.

Now, this second part of the project, 3D BRIEFCASE (2020-2021), proposes to improve the virtual tool into an augmented reality (AR) application to attract students up to 18 years old and to adapt the tool for a 3D-application to play with 3D-glasses for permanent usage in science museums and educational centres, and for private use of the general public. We will create new BRIEFCASES, specially designed to cover the minerals exploited by our mining partners, helping them to gain acceptance in the surrounded communities and demonstrating the effectiveness of the tool.

Partnership

  • Ayma Mining Solutions SL
  • Colegio Oficial de Ingieros de Minas del Sur de España
  • Coventry University
  • EIT Raw Materials GmbH
  • European Association of Mining Industries, Metal Ores & Industrial Minerals (EUROMINES)
  • Fundación Tecnalia Research & Innovation
  • Geoalcali
  • Gomez Pardo Foundation
  • Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME – Spanish Geological Survey)
  • Magnesitas Navarras S.A.
  • Monolithos Ltd
  • Montanuniversität Leoben
  • Technical University of Kosice
  • Universidade Nova de Lisboa (New University of Lisbon) – Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FCT NOVA)
  • Università degli Studi di Milano – Bicocca (University of Milano- Bicocca)
  • Zavod za gradbenistvo Slovenije, ZAG (Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute)
Mineral Processing/Resource Efficiency

3DMPWIRE: Material-efficient Cu wire-based 3D printing technology

Project duration: 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2021

Objective

The aim of this project is to address the need for more efficient and waste-free production, specifically the production of corrosion-resistant components operating in marine environments.

The solution (technology)

Using newly developed Cu-based alloys in applications such as water turbine propellers, ship propellers, valves, manifolds and other marine equipment, by means of Wire+Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) or more precisely the 3D Metal Printing (3DMP®) technology, a significant reduction of costs and energy consumption can be reached.
The principle of the 3DMP® technology is to make the final product layer-by-layer using a metal filler wire as input material. This approach is more efficient than manufacturing by means of typical 3D printers which use metal powders due to the lack of input material losses.

Partnership

  • Instytut Metali Niezelaznych, IMN (Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals), Poland (Lead Partner)
  • Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l’Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile (ENEA), Italy
  • Fundación Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Spain
  • Gefertec GmbH, Germany
  • Ghent University, Belgium
Substitution

3DREMAG: 3D printing of rare-earth permanent magnets

Project duration: 1 January 2020 – 31 December 21

Objective

3DREMAG aims to up-scale and introduce to the market a 3D printable NdFeB powder. NdFeB magnets contain around 30 wt-% of Nd and Dy, both classified as critical raw materials by the EU. The developed powder enables 3D printing of optimized magnet configurations for e-drives needed in future mobility applications with reduced waste. This will be the first high performance spherical NdFeB powder in the market tailored for use in 3D printing.

The solution (technology)

Over million electric vehicles (EV) were sold in 2017, an increase of 54 % compared to 2016, resulting in a total EV fleet of over 3 million units. IEA forecasts a growth from 3 to 125 million EVs by 2030. Permanent magnets are key components for high power density e-drives needed in future mobility. The used high performance Rare-Earth (RE) magnets of today contain significant amount of critical raw materials (CRMs) (Nd, Pr, Dy, Tb, Sm, Co). Heavy reliance on CRMs is a severe cost, availability and sustainability issue for e-drives based on permanent magnet technology.

The aim of 3DREMAG project is to upscale and introduce to the market a new NdFeB powder better suited for 3D printing technology. The objective is to reduce the use of CRMs in electrical machinery by 3D printing. However, the available NdFeB powders used in polymer-bonded or sintered magnets are not designed for use in 3D printing.

Wohlers reports 45 % growth in 3D printing metal powder sales in 2017 to 183 M$ and there is growing demand for functional materials aimed for the growing market. Compared to powders used for state-of-the-art sintered magnets, a powder tailored for 3D printing requires spherical particles with specific size distribution. Further, the alloy composition can be tailored to reach fine-grained microstructure improving magnetic properties. 3D printing allows near-net-shape manufacturing of complex magnet shapes, avoiding significant machining waste during conventional manufacture of the final shape from sintered magnet blocks. Performance of e-drives can be increased while minimizing use of CRMs as 3D printing enables optimized magnet system configurations to be designed and manufactured. This accelerates the uptake of e-mobility as cost and sustainability issues related CRMs are reduced. Our approach helps to maintaining sufficiency of CRM resources while the demand increases due to growth in e-mobility.

Partnership

  • Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. VTT (Lead Partner), Finland
  • French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, France
  • EIT Raw Materials GmbH, Germany
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (Fraunhofer), Germany
  • Less Common Metals, United Kingdom
  • Siemens AG, Germany
  • Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
  • Tekna Plasma Europe SAS, France
Mineral Processing/Resource Efficiency

4L-Alloys: Lifelong Learning on Light Alloys: from Raw Materials to Sustainable Products

Objective

The objective of the 4L Alloy project is to promote sustainability in production, manufacturing and use of Light Alloys (Al- and Mg-based). This target will be achieved by an industry oriented Summer School in addition to in-field lab sessions at participating organizing partners.

The solution (technology)

It is expected that companies that attend the School will become more competitive through better products, by increased use of recycled metal, by less production scrap and waste and by a more sustainable production. The professionals and students attending the school will form new networks and partnerships where experience is shared. These partnerships and cooperation will benefit the whole light metal sector and will add value to the light alloy product manufacturers, to the users of their product and to society at large.

Partnership

For more information, please check the official website of the course.

Mineral Processing/Resource Efficiency

4L-Alloys: Life Long Learning on Light Alloys: from Raw Materials to Sustainable Products

Project duration: 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018

4L-Alloys is a lifelong learning project on Light Metals, addressing topics such as raw materials, recycling, life cycle analysis, design and manufacturing for easy disassembling and post-consumer scrap management.

Objective

4L-Alloys School intends to promote sustainability in production, manufacturing and use of Light Alloys (Al- and Mg-based) by addressing three specific objectives:

  • a highly industry-oriented 1-week intensive School, focussed on Recycling (Scrap sorting and analysis, Impurities from recycling, New secondary alloys), New Raw Materials, Critical Raw Materials in Aluminium & Magnesium alloys, Applications, LCA perspective;
  • supporting an applied knowledge about sustainability, by various “in-field lab sessions”, on alloys design, production and recycling, manufacturing of light alloys components, applying LCA methodologies);
  • elaborating a pilot MOOC module, for an increased dissemination of the project contents and outcomes.

The solution (technology)

This lifelong learning project consists of

  • 1-week intensive school, taught by an international panel of Industry and Academy experts,
  • 5 “in-field lab sessions” (addressed to design of alloys, foundry lab, High Pressure Diecasting lab, LCA tools application, advanced techniques for scraps recovering), carried out on industry site or at partner locations,
  • a pilot version of a MOOC module on light alloys for sustainable products.

Partnership

  • University of Padova, Italy
  • Tecnalia, Spain
  • KTH – Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Sweden
  • RWTH – University of Aachen, Germany
  • Katholieke Universiteit KU Leuven, Belgium
  • WPI – Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA
  • SAEN SpA, Italy

For more information, please visit the project website.