Strategies for the recovery and recycling of raw materials

27 October, 2017 | by SEN Team

IRCOW (2011-2014) and HISER (2015-2019) projects aim to develop solutions for maximizing the material recovery from construction and demolition Waste (C&DW). Cost efficient recovery requires both enhanced segregation of materials at demolition/refurbishment works and integral recycling approaches. Providing solutions for increased levels of quality assurance of recycled materials, higher certainty of their influence in current manufacture processes and (performance/durability) of the subsequent building products is also aimed, as can lead to increased demand. Also standards/policy recommendations are expected, to drive higher market acceptance.

Amongst others, IRCOW adapted advanced sorting technologies for improving the quality of recycled aggregates. This approach is being fine-tuned in HISER. Other HISER technological solutions for C&DW recycling refer to electro-fragmentation techniques (for the selective release of materials adhered in the stony fraction) or the mobile treatment plant for stony fraction, including ADR classification/refining process and a LIBS-based quality assurance system. Innovative recycling equipment of gypsum-based waste and the optimization of recovery concepts for C&D wood and mineral wool are in the pipeline. Moreover, closing the material loop, a range of recycled products was designed in IRCOW. Likewise, HISER is optimizing products such as cements, concretes, bricks, gypsum-based products or extruded composites.

In the chapter of solutions for increased segregation of materials at works, HISER is developing a software tool to support the pre-demolition study. Also a tracking system that can lead to higher quality of the to-be recycled waste and increased trust in its quality. Reuse option was also explored by IRCOW. All solutions are/will be tested in case studies and (economically/environmentally) assessed from a life cycled perspective.

IRCOW and HISER projects received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme and Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme respectively, under grant agreement numbers 265212 and 642085.

Amaia Lisbona