Valorization of iron foundry sands and dust in the ceramic tile production process

This project is based on the opportunity arising from the mineralogical composition and amounts generated of these byproducts, which match different raw materials used in tile production. With the figures from Spain in 2013, with a substitution degree of 5%, the tile production can absorb all the byproduct generated, while at European level ceramic can absorb 75% of these wastes.

Main drawbacks that have prevented the previous implementation of the proposed approach are the lack of adequate knowledge on dust and sand waste characteristics, their variability (among and inside factories), and the need for evaluation of possible requested pre-treatments from the end-user perspective.

The innovation character is provided by the utilization of green and chemically bonded foundry dust and sand in tile production replacing natural products, clay (for red clay ceramic products) and sands (for white clay ceramic products). The demonstration character is provided by the pilot and industrial scale tests, to validate the environmental, technical and economic feasibility of foundry byproducts valorization in ceramic tiles production.

The main objectives of this project are:

1. To demonstrate the valorization of iron foundry sands and dust in the ceramic tile production process, contributing to the implementation of Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98/EC) following the objectives and goals of the Roadmap for a Resource-Efficient Europe. The new applications will have three main benefits: preservation of natural resources, increase foundry waste valorization and environmental footprint reduction.

2. Generate and validate a matrix combining the foundry byproduct characteristics with the requirements from final tile applications.

3. Environmental, economic viability assessment of selected applications and their correspondence with social impact of the overall solution.

4. Human health risk assessment based on industrial test

5. Incorporate the project result into revision of BREF documents for both foundry and ceramic sectors (BREF codes SF and CER).

6. To disseminate the obtained results and transfer the knowledge acquired regarding the innovative valorization scheme.

7. To foster social awareness related to the environmental problem caused by foundry sands and dust.

8. Evaluate at pre and industrial scale the technical viability of selected applications.

9. Evaluation of sand and fines pre-treatments.

10. Detailed analysis and characterization of foundry sands and dust at different source points.