Projects

International Projects

Crocodile

"First of a kind commercial Compact system for the efficient Recovery Of CObalt Designed with novel Integrated LEading technologies"

(co-financed by European Commission Horizon 2020 programme)

 

Crocodile (H2020-SC5-2016-2017) is a project co-funded by the European Commission inside the Horizon 2020 programme and aims to recovery Cobalt from a series of WEEE wastes. In particular the project, which will start in mid-2018 expiring in 2022, aims to demonstrate on a large scale the innovative metallurgical process integrated, which uses different specific technologies to maximize the recovery of Cobalt.

Eco Recycling, as project partner, is responsible for the following activities:

  • Study of the pre-existing mobile plant realized within the European HydroWEEE DEMO project, in order to identify the changes necessary for the realization of the proposed innovative process (revamping of two mobile plants);
  • Demonstration of the proposed process by integrating a new L-L extraction and electrodeposition sections to the previously developed plant (HydroWEEE DEMO);
  • Support for the realization of the business plan.

https://h2020-crocodile.eu/

Member

"Advanced MEMBranes and membrane assisted procEsses for pre- and post- combustion CO2 captuRe”

(co-financed by European Commission Horizon 2020 programme)

 

MEMBER (Call: H2020-NMBP-2016-2017) is a project co-financed by European Commission inside the Horizon 2020 programme. This project will last four years, from January 2018 to January 2022. The key objective of the project is the production and replicability of both advanced materials and new technologies (membranes and sorbents) to be used in power plants for the relative capture of CO2 and for the production of H2 during the pre- and post-combustion phases. Based on the experience of Eco Recycling on the end of life of Pd-Ag membranes treatment acquired in a previously national project (HYRPAM), it will focus on the recyclability and sustainability of the membranes advanced materials constituent. An experimental activity on a prototypal scale will be done as to determine the ideal technology for recycling and regenerating of membranes.

The project objectives for which Eco Recycling is responsible are:

  • Carry out a thorough research on the different methods for the recovery of Pd (and other metallic element) in solution as well as the reuse of the support for the manufacturing of new Pd-based membranes;
  • Test the optimal techniques found and study the recovered support, which will be analyzed after this treatment in perspective of their reuse/recycling. New membranes will be manufactured on these supports and their properties will be measured and compared with the original membranes.

https://member-co2.com/

 

LiBat

“Recycling of primary Lithium Battery by mechanical and hydrometallurgical operations”

(co-financed by European Commission LIFE16 programme)

 

LiBat (LIFE16 ENV/IT/000389) is an EU LIFE+ funded with the aim to demonstrate an innovative process for the recycling of end-of life primary Lithium batteries. The only plants currently operated in Europe use pyrometallurgical processes, while the proposed process integrates a mechanical pre-treatment section with a hydrometallurgical treatment section. This process derives from the collaboration between Eco Recycling and the HTR center (High Tech Recycling, Department of Chemistry of the "La Sapienza" University of Rome).

This solution allows achieving, in line with the EU Directive 2006/66/EC, a recycling efficiency of primary lithium batteries larger than 50% and ensures energy consumption and environmental pollution impact significantly lower than those achieved by implementation of pyrometallurgical processes.

The LiBat, July 2017 - December 2020, project aims at the following objectives:

  • Demonstration of the new innovative process for recycling primary Li batteries (Li (0) / MnO2);
  • Recovery of plastics, ferrous and non-ferrous materials through the integration of a mechanical pre-treatment with a hydrometallurgical treatment;
  • Demonstrate the possibility of separately recovering Lithium and Manganese products, unlike alternative recycling technologies to date;
  • Design and construction of a pilot plant capable of processing 50 kg of batteries / day.

http://www.lifelibat.eu

e.THROUGH

"Thinking rough towards sustainability"

(co-financed by European Commission Horizon 2020 programme)

e.THROUGH project (Call: H2020-MSCA-RISE-2017) (February 2018 to January 2020)  has the ambitious vision of turning the challenge of CRMs dependence into a strategic strength for Europe, contributing towards declassifying some CRMs (critical raw materials), as tungsten, indium, gallium and chromium.

The project aims to:

  • Promoting new trends in the characterization and exploration of mineral deposits;
  • Mapping CRMs between EU mining regions;
  • Gaining knowledge on innovative processes for recovery secondary CRMs;
  • Redesign construction materials using secondary materials, closing loops, strongly supporting waste minimization;
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for the evaluation of global environmental impacts;
  • Transferring newly generated knowledge to stakeholders, both for policy development and standardization, and for shaping responsible behaviours.

e.THROUGH is an intersectoral and interdisciplinary consortium of EU & Third Country partners of leading institutions that see waste as a resource to recover CRMs, influencing the whole value chain. By training human resources in CRMs´value chain, their recovery, recycling, further reuse and LCA, they become the much needed young and senior scientists and engineers for the growing EU CRM industry. The consortium comprises 40% industry and 60% research partners. 

https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/213000_en.html

 

Photolife

“Process and automated pilot plant for simultaneous and integral recycling of different kinds of photovoltaic panels”

(LIFE13 ENV/IT/001033)

 

Photolife (LIFE13 ENV/IT/001033) is an EU LIFE+ funded project with the aim of recovery of glass and main values from end life Photovoltaic panels. Scope of the project is the construction of a pilot plant and the experimentation of the innovative process for the full recovery of different kind of PV panels. Eco Recycling is Coordinator of the project, the designer and the builder of the pilot plant. The project started at 1 June 2014 and finished 31 August 2017.

Photolife project have been aimed:

  • to demonstrate in pilot scale the technical feasibility of an innovative process (developed on the base of laboratory scale experiments) for the automated and simultaneous treatment of the three main kinds of photovoltaic panels (Si-based, Cd-Te based and  innovative panels as the CIGS)
  • to characterize the pilot plant products (glass and metals)
  • to determine the overall economic feasibility of the pilot plant process accounting also for the recovery of electronic equipment (printed circuit boards and other electronic equipment) and plastics

http://www.photolifeproject.eu

 

HydroWEEE DEMO

“Innovative Hydrometallurgical processes to recover Metals from WEEE including lamps and batteries: Demonstration”

(co-financed by European Commission FP7 programme)

 

This project includes Eco Recycling and the HTR center (High Tech Recycling, Department of Chemistry of the "La Sapienza" University of Rome) involved in the continuation of the activities already co-financed by the EU with the HydroWEEE project (Call ID "FP7-SME-2008- 1). This project began in October 2012 and ended in March 2017. The processes previously developed for the recovery of base and precious metals from WEEE have been further optimized to increase the purity yield of the recovered metals (cathode ray tubes, lamps, printed circuits, LCDs, batteries).

 The main objective of the HydroWEEE DEMO project was to build two demonstration plants in an industrial scale: a fixed one installed at Relight srl in Rho (MI) and one mobile. The project aimed at testing the processes already developed, verify their performance and demonstrating feasibility from an integrated (technical, economic, operational, social) point of view, also taking into account the risk assessment (including health) and the benefits for society and the environment, favoring then a wide diffusion on the market.

The demonstration objectives were successfully achieved when the fixed plant worked continuously for at least 18 months; in the same way, the mobile plant has been transported through at least 5 locations in at least 3 countries in Europe (Italy, Romania, Serbia).

https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/105213_it.html

http://www.4980.timewarp.at/sat/hydroWEEE/

 

HydroWEEE

 

“Innovative Hydrometallurgical Processes to recover Metals from WEEE including lamps and batteries”

 (co-financed by European Commission FP7 programme)

HydroWEEE (2008-2012) is a project co-financed under the FP7 calls (Seventh Framework Program of the EU) aimed at supporting SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in research and development activities (Call ID "FP7-SME-2008- 1). The industrial leader of the project was the Austrian company SAT in Vienna, while Eco Recycling, scientific leader, was involved in the design and construction of a mobile pilot plant for the recovery of base and precious metals from WEEE and the related experimental campaign.

The HydroWEEE project aimed to develop the following hydrometallurgical processes:

  • Processes for the recovery of rare earth (Eu, Tb, Y and Gd) from fluorescent lamps and CRTs;
  • Processes for the recovery of Cobalt and Lithium from LIBs;
  • Processes for the recovery of precious metals such as Au from PCBs;
  • Indio recovery processes from LCDs.

https://cordis.europa.eu/result/rcn/45388_it.html

 

National Projects

O.Ri.Fo

“Optimization of a zero-waste treatment for the recycling of photovoltaic modules at the end of life​” (cofinanced by the Ministry of the Environment and Protection of the Territory and the Sea)

“Call for the co-financing of research projects aimed at developing new technologies for the recovery, recycling and treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)”

O.RI.FO is a project born after a project co-funded by the EU (PHOTOLIFE, life project) during this project a process for the treatment of photovoltaic modules at the end of life was developed and a prototype-scale plant was built.

During the O.RI.FO project, a new physical treatment unit for the treating of the fine fraction of the glass will be designed, realized and tested and a experimental campaign to increase the recovery of the plastics will realized; the purpose of the project is carry out a drafting of a complete business plan suitable for a full scale plant construction.

The fine fraction of the glass during the PHOTOLIFE project has been treated using chemical processes, in the present project an alternative treatment is proposed: a physical treatment realized through an iron separation unit and a eddy current system, this new prototype line will be used to clean the glass and separate it from metals, this alternative treatment will provide significant economic and environmental advantages.

In the following project another aspect concerning plastics and their final destination will be explored, the fractions of plastics soaked in solvent can be valorized by:

1  Chemical treatment

2  Heat treatment / gasification

In this regard, a large experimental laboratory campaign will be carried out by the HTR research center. The experimental campaign will also aim to perform tests to remove the solvent in order to allow the design of the solvent recovery unit indispensable on a full-scale plant.

The project involves three partners: HTR (Inter University research center), Eco Recycling and GA Energy; will have a duration of 24 months, starting from 19/01/2018.

HYRPAM

“Recovery process of  membranes for the hydrogen based on Palladium and Silver”

(Call POR FESR Lazio 2007-2013)

HYRPAM is a project financed under the POR FESR Lazio 2007-2013 calls for the Public Notice 'Win together' (2014-2015). The project aim was the development and optimization of a hydrometallurgical process aimed at recovering both the support and precious metals present in the membranes based on Palladio/Silver. This process was developed following a technical-economic evaluation of the entire life cycle of the same membranes and a pilot scale plant was realized.

The results obtained from this project were the following:

  • Development of a process for the treatment and enhancement of membranes at the end of life;
  • The design and construction of a pilot plant suitable for treatment.

NANOHYDRO

“Production of metallic structured nano from leaches from the hydrometallurgical treatment of WEEE and exhausted batteries” (Call POR FESR Lazio 2007-2013, R&D Projects in collaboration from the PMI of Lazio)

The aim of this project (2012-2014) was the development of processes for the production, through electrochemical techniques, of nano metal materials based on copper and cobalt starting from leaches from the hydrometallurgical treatment of special waste such as WEEE and / or batteries. The main aims of the project were the identification of the operating conditions for the production of materials in a structured nano form, the scale-up of the process and the realization of a suitable pilot experimental system with advanced monitoring systems for the control of process parameters. In order to implement an efficient data analysis monitoring, a specific on-line survey system has been integrated to improve the expected objectives. This system consisted of both HW components for data collection and collection, as well as software for processing and analysis. The system, as a whole, has provided the possibility to automate the phases of control and management of complex electrochemical processes in full scale.

In recent years the nano materials market has undergone strong expansion due to the interest of pharmaceutical industries, catalyst producers and technology companies.

The potential associated with the innovative project has been significant, both from an environmental and economic point of view, due to the production of high added value materials (Co and Cu structured nano) from waste. The structured nano-metallic cobalt can in fact be used in digital recording devices and in electromechanical microsystems (MEMS). The nano metallic cobalt particles are also used for the manufacture of high mechanical strength materials such as tungsten carbide of industrial mills and shredders. As far as metallic cobalt is concerned, it is also a catalyst widely used by oil companies; more generally, the structured nano can be used, with better performances, in all the applications in which its analogous micro structured is used.

A similar argument is associated with the production of nano-structured copper, a material that can be widely used wherever formidable conductive capacities are required, from printed circuits to the latest generation photovoltaic modules.

PHOTOREC

Eco Recycling in collaboration with the HTR center (High Tech Recycling, Department of Chemistry of the "La Sapienza" University of Rome) participated in a technology transfer project co-financed by Regione Lazio and named Photorec (2010-2012), for the development of an innovative process to treat the end-of-life photovoltaic panels. This process has been developed on experience gained by researchers and technicians on studying of hydrometallurgical techniques (leaching, precipitation and recovery through electrolysis or calcination) and mechanical, physical, chemical operations, in order to obtain the PVP materials recovery. This recovery is possible through a series of operations (grinding, sieving, magnetic separation, eddy current separation, gravimetric separation) that prepare the feed for hydrometallurgical section and allow the physical separation of valuable materials. The most important aspect of innovative hydrometallurgical process was the dissolution of III and IV periodic system groups’ oxide by acid or basic leaching, and the electrolytic recovery of Ga, In, Te. As an alternative to electrolytic process, the metals are recovered in the form of oxide, through precipitation or calcination.

A series of laboratory scale tests and the process simulations have been done to assess the recovery way cheaper than between the possible ones (electrochemistry or precipitation).

Green batteries

PON MIUR Art.11

Eco Recycling has received funding from the MIUR (Ministry of Education, University and Research) as part of the Research Facilitation Fund (FAR) with the aim of creating a demonstration pilot plant for the recovery of Zinc and Manganese from batteries at the end of life, based on the patented process and for the implementation of a research project for the extension of this process to the treatment of other types of batteries, catalysts and WEEE.

The objective of this research was the development of three different processes for the recovery of metals from the waste through the use of hydrometallurgical techniques.

In particular:

• Processes for the recovery of Manganese and Zinc from the treatment of batteries at the end of life;

• Processes for the recovery of Molybdenum, Vanadium, Cobalt and Nickel from exhausted industrial catalysts in the oil industry and from ash boilers;

• Processes for the recovery of base metals from WEEE (eg Yttrium and Zinc from cathode ray tubes (CRT) of televisions and PCs and Yttrium from fluorescent lamps).

The industrial research phase was realized with the construction of a demonstration pilot plant, located at the SEVAL srl of Colico (LC), for the recovery of Zinc and Manganese from batteries at the end of life, based on the process covered by a European patent.