Securing the sustainable access to raw materials, including metals, industrial minerals and construction raw materials for the EU economy is of high importance.
However, the EU is confronted with a number of technological challenges along the entire raw materials production value chain of primary and secondary raw materials. YEAR organized, in collaboration with VITO, a seminar on the topic Raw Materials on 16 – 17 of October, 2015 in Brussels. The seminar was attended by several young researchers within the YEAR network to present their activities on the topic, as well as exchange ideas with other researchers for future collaboration and debate on potential project ideas. Further more the EIT Raw Materials, a strong European consortium in the raw materials field, was presented.
Some reactions from participants: “Overall, the seminar was very useful for me, since it resulted in at least one concrete line of collaboration (… Such discussions with young researchers from various research institutes of Europe are very beneficial because as young researchers, developing a professional collaborative networks is very crucial.”; “In my opinion the seminar was a good opportunity to create connections between European partners.”; “I would be happy to have another opportunity to join seminar like that.”
Project example on Raw Materials
ReNEW (Resource Innovation Network for European Waste represents a network of organisations working together to deliver innovations for recovery of valuable materials from waste and to support the development of the circular economy. Altogether, 19 knowledge and research partners from north-west Europe join forces through ReNEW to add value to diverse waste streams. The ReNEW partners show case various new technologies and also developed an innovation roadmap.
VITO focuses on recycling chromium-rich metal slag originating from the production of stainless steel. It recycles pure chromium and processes the slag residue into high-quality construction materials. Moreover, through refining, VITO also recovers organic waste streams such as waste paper. The organic matter present can be biologically converted into valuable chemicals. From the remaining material, bio-energy can be extracted. This way, VITO paves the way to a European recycling society, which uses waste as a resource and reuses materials completely.