39.0 Remediation activities and other waste management services

Enterprise Europe Network (Profile: TRNL20200428001)

Short description of advertisement: 
A Dutch recycling company is looking for technologies to remove small stainless steel particles from bottom ash.

A Dutch recycling company specializes in the separation of bottom ash from waste power plants into semi-finished products (granulates) and valuable mineral and metal fractions. To make the granulates suitable for use in concrete products, it is important to remove the last stainless steel particles as well. The company is looking for innovative technologies and/or other out of the box idea’s to detect and remove these particles from bottom ash. A research or technology agreement is foreseen.

A Dutch company is specialized in the sustainable recycling of waste.
An important and immense waste stream comes from households, shops, the catering industry, etc. This type of waste is used as fuel to energy plants, in Dutch also called “afval energie centrales” (AEC). What is left behind in the incinerators is called AEC bottom ash.
This AEC bottom ash can be recycled and used as secondary building material. For instance, AEC bottom ash is an ideal replacement for sand and rubble, and is therefore already widely used for the construction of roads and buildings. New developments will expand the range of applications even more.

The company is specialized in further processing of the AEC bottom ash into a defined semi-finished product and removes the unwanted fractions such as ferrous (iron), non-ferrous and other unburned materials. The ferrous and high-quality non-ferrous metals (e.g. copper, zinc, aluminum) are removed from the mineral stream with existing operational techniques, such as magnets and eddy current separators. After processing, different grades are produced. Per year, this amounts to approximately 550,000 tons.

At the moment, small stainless steel particles are difficult to remove. Consider springs from ball-point pens and other utensils such as small screws and wires (see picture). This metal fraction has no permanent magnetic properties and cannot acquire magnetic properties for a short time before being removed using conventional techniques. Furthermore, sieving on certain grain sizes (2-11 mm) does not give sufficient effect because it is precisely those parts that fall within this bandwidth and thus remain in the product. Until now, the shapes of these stainless steel parts are difficult to remove with the aid of sensor technology. In a wet removal step, so called “Jigging”, insufficient results are now achieved to guarantee a desired semi-finished product.

When used as an additive (replacement of sand and gravel) for concrete products, the spring is pulled apart with the different processing steps, creating a wire that is bothersome in achieving a homogeneous concrete composition (see picture), but also when pressing into the molds of the concrete factory. This will result in product failure (see picture).
It is for this reason that the company is looking for a technique and / or other innovative process step through which these stainless steel parts can be removed. Here, a solution or combination of techniques can be considered in which the stainless steel particles are recognized on a conveyor belt with a thin layer of AEC bottom ash on it. Hence, the particles will somehow be removed from the thin layer of bottom ash. Specific detection could be performed by X-ray diffraction or other kind of image analysis method.

The company is looking for partners who are skilled in the art of separation technology to help in the development of innovative technologies, automation procedures and/or other out of the box idea’s to detect and remove small stainless steel particles from AEC bottom ash. A research or technology agreement is foreseen.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This technology request is part of an innovation challenge and is published on an open innovation platform from April the 27th until June the 12th 2020. If an organization does express interest in cooperation with this firm before closing date, it will be guided towards this open innovation platform on which one can get in touch with the company experts. Mind that posts on this platform are not confidential. Beside open discussions on the platform, sharing of confidential information will be made possible on demand. After that, the firm will select the SME's with whom they would like to cooperate in the development of a solution. Once the challenge is closed, EOI's for this technology request will be treated in the traditional way.



For more information please contact Enterprise Europe Network Latvia.

Contact person: 
Enterprise Europe Network Latvia
Contact languages: 
Perses Street 2, Riga, LV-1442, Latvia
info [at] een [dot] lv
Proposal valid till: 
Friday, 30 April, 2021


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