RECOVER is a research project of a consortium of Universities, Research Institutes and Industries, which work on the upscaling of processes for the development of construction materials from metallurgical by-products. During the Project, modular and mobile upscaling units, incorporating all equipment necessary in standard containers, will be built and moved to various Industrial Sites to produce construction materials (e.g. thermal insulating building blocks, fire resistant tiles, cement-like binders etc.), on site. The generated products need to deliver properties similar to or better than traditional market substitutes and will be evaluated in terms of properties.
The project addresses the needs of two types of industries. First, the metallurgical industry, which yields large volumes of residues that are sent to landfilling. This is already reflected in certain areas, in terms of the very high cost of landfilling and this in fact provides also an economic incentive to look for alternative outlets, such as products for the construction industry for instance.
By using the proper technologies it is possible to turn these residues into high value-added products. As such, residue valorisation can create a direct economic benefit for the metallurgical industry by creating an extra source of income as well as, safeguard their social license to operate by avoiding landfilling, and at the same time have a huge positive impact on the environmental protection.
A second industry that would certainly profit from residue valorisation is the cement/building materials industry, i.e. in instances in which the companies buy the (conditioned) residues for further processing. The cement industry is currently responsible for over 8% of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Diversifying the range of binders used instead of cement will allow to decrease CO2 emissions, and will promote sustainability.
The Project will contribute to the level of customer readiness by demonstrating its feasibility to local construction companies and policymakers, thereby providing a nucleus for matchmaking towards industrial symbiosis. Another objective is to allow for the market uptake of the developed products within 3 years after the end of the project.
After its use in the project, the production units will be made available for services to a range of clients: for other upscaling projects and other waste streams, urban or industrial, for offering training to people active in the traditional construction industry, as well as for educating students and the wider society, by operating at remote or unindustrialized regions.