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EU H2020 METGROW+ (Zero-waste valorisation of industrial process residues): metgrowplus.eu

The EU Horizon 2020 project METGROW+ will address and solve bottlenecks in the European raw materials supply by developing innovative metallurgical technologies for unlocking the use of potential domestic raw materials. Within this project, both primary and secondary materials are studied as potential metal resources. Economically important nickel-cobalt deposits, low grade polymetallic wastes and iron containing sludges (goethite, jarosite, etc.) which are currently not yet being exploited due to technical bottlenecks are in focus. Concurrently, METGROW+ targets innovative processes to extract important metals including Ni, Cu, Zn, Co, In, Ga, Ge in a cost-effective way. As project main output, a toolbox for metallurgical systems development is created in the project using new methods and combinations.

SOCRATES (European Training Network for the Sustainable, zero-waste valorisation of critical-metal-containing industrial process residues): etn-socrates.eu

SOCRATES targets ground-breaking metallurgical processes, incl. plasma-, bio-, solvo-, electro- and ionometallurgy, that can be integrated into environmentally friendly, (near-)zero-waste valorisation flow sheets. As a basis for a concerted effort to strengthen the EU’s critical-metal supply chain for Ge, In, Ga and Sb, SOCRATES trains 15 early-stage researchers (ESRs) in technological innovation: metal extraction (WP1), metal recovery (WP2), residual matrix valorisation (WP3) and integrated assessment (WP4). By training the ESRs in scientific, technical and soft skills, they are the next generation of highly employable scientists and engineers in the raw-materials sector.

EURELCO (European Enhanced Landfill Mining Consortium): eurelco.org

EURELCO is an open, quadruple helix network that supports the required technological, legal, social, economic, environmental and organisational innovation with respect to Enhanced Landfill Mining within the context of a transition to a resource efficient, circular, low-carbon economy. EURELCO deals with both Urban Solid Waste Landfills and monolandfills containing extractive waste or industrial process residues.

ETN NEW-MINE (EU Training Network for Resource Recovery Through Enhanced Landfill Mining): new-mine.eu

ETN NEW-MINE is a twin project of SOCRATES. NEW-MINE trains 15 early-stage researchers (ESRs) in all aspects of landfill mining, in terms of both technological innovation and multi-criteria assessments. The technological innovation follows a value-chain approach, from advanced landfill exploration, mechanical processing, plasma/solar/hybrid thermochemical conversion and upcycling, while the multi-criteria assessment methods allow to compare combined resource-recovery/remediation ELFM methods with the “Do-Nothing”, “Classic remediation” and “Classic landfill mining with (co-)incineration” scenarios.

ETN SULTAN (European Training Network for the Remediation and Reprocessing of Sulfidic Mining Waste Sites): etn-sultan.eu
SULTAN develops cutting-edge methodologies to assess the resource potential of Europe’s main tailings families and explores eco-friendly mining chemicals to be used in advanced metal-extraction/recovery set-ups. SULTAN not only recovers the metals but also valorises the clean(ed) tailing residues in circular-economy applications, incl. inorganic polymers, green cements and ceramics. A novel environmental assessment methodology is developed. The 15 SULTAN ESRs also benefit from a unique soft-skills training programme and maximise the impact of their research through dissemination and exploitation.

SIM MaRes programme (Materials from solid and liquid industrial process Residues, https://www.sim-flanders.be/research-program/mares) covers various projects aiming at creating and demonstrating an operational, flexible toolbox to recover metals from industrial process residues and to valorize the residual matrix into building materials.

The SMART  project (Sustainable metal extraction from tailings, https://www.sim-flanders.be/project/smart-sbo), within the MaRes programme, is a strategic basic research project which was developed by KU Leuven and their strategic research partners VITO and UGent, as well as FLAMAC and a plethora of Flemish companies. SMART is the first ever project in Flanders that is 100% dedicated to finding zero-waste solutions for tailings, i.e. the materials left over after the process of separating the valuable fraction from the uneconomic fraction (gangue) of an ore.