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

VR-Mine. Integrating Virtual Reality into European Mining Education

Objective

Virtual Reality (VR) is becoming increasingly popular in different domains such as private gaming, industrial training, academic research and education. The VR-Mine project will bring VR into the lecture halls of the European Mining Course, a joint Master programme for mining engineering students at Aalto University, RWTH Aachen and TU Delft. The pilot VR tool will be further tested in a lecture at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia. The underground environment of VR-Mine will be based on a real tungsten mine in Mittersill (Austria), operated by our partner, the WOLFRAM Bergbau und Hütten AG.

VR has already proved to be effective in stimulating interest and improving education in diverse fields of study; the application of VR enriches didactic approaches used in raw materials teaching and mining education. Mining engineering (the discipline that applies science and technology to the extraction of minerals from the Earth) deals with very complex phenomena, ranging from geological conditions such as 3-dimensional deposits and structures to the planning of mines using countless underground drifts and shafts to heavy machinery operating in artificially ventilated atmospheres.

These characteristics and challenges vary significantly from mine to mine: a coal mine operates cutting technology in flat seams and it has to consider hazardous gases such as methane. By contrast, a metal mine conducts drilling and blasting in very hard but stable rock. Using VR, students will get the chance to virtually visit different mine sites and related phenomena and to interact with mining challenges. Being trained to understand technical-natural-human interdependencies is crucial to develop the skills and competencies of future mining professionals. In their future career, mining engineers do not only design future mines but they also create complex work plans and conduct safety checks. It is anticipated that VR training will be a university training tool of choice.

The solution (technology)

VR-Mine develops a virtual reality environment mimicking different underground mining situations in order to deliver a highly informative and interactive tool. It will be used at European universities that offer MSc courses in mining-related fields. VR-Mine will be developed with the Mittersill mine (Austria) and initially implemented in Tallinn (Estonia) and the European Mining Course in Aachen (Germany), currently applying for EIT-Labeling.

Partnership

  • Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen), Germany (Lead Partner)
  • Tallinna Tehnikaülikool, TTÜ – Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
  • Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten AG, Austria
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.

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

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

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