VITO is a leading European independent research and technology organisation in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development, elaborating solutions for the large societal challenges of today. VITO provides innovative and high-quality solutions, whereby large and small companies can gain a competitive advantage, and advises industry and governments on determining their policy for the future. VITO has 772 highlyqualified employees who work on international projects all around the world. VITO’s headquarters are located in Mol, Belgium, and the company has a subsidiary in China. The total turnover of VITO amounted to about 147 million euros in 2015. VITO’s research agenda tackles the major societal challenges we are facing today. VITO focuses on five different research programmes: sustainable chemistry, energy, health, materials management and land use.
VITO’s view on the materials challenge starts from a value chain perspective and aims at transforming complex waste materials into value added products. VITO develops technologies for separation, recovery and conversion with a specific focus on loop closure, recovery of valuable materials and upcycling of mineral matrices. These competences are based on expertise in physical and chemical separation, (bio)-electrochemical conversion, powder/surface processing and solidification/stabilisation to transform (mineral) waste to value-added resources with improved environmental qualities. The value chain management perspective is supported by our expertise on integrated environmental assessment and material flow analysis, and the development of new business concepts to facilitate the implementation of sustainable materials management in industry.
VITO’s unit ‘Sustainable Materials Management (SuMAT)’ scientifically contributes to the transition towards a sustainable use of materials. Within this unit the Waste Recycling Technologies (ART) team provides a clear view on resource recovery for both industry and government. It strives to close material cycles by developing innovative clean technologies and approaches and as such contribute to the sustainable transformation towards a (near) zero-waste society. ART has a large experience in solution-oriented research related to the re-use and recycling of a wide variety of mainly mineral waste products. The two main R&D activities of the team are (i) the development of technologies to recover valuable materials (mainly metals) from inorganic industrial waste streams by innovative physical and chemical separation and recovery technology, and (ii) the transformation of mineral waste material into new products, mainly construction materials (e.g. carbonated materials, cementitious binders, aggregates).