Based on the member feedback which was gathered during a Flanders Metals Valley workshop, the following themes have been selected as working topics for the Innovation working group:
- Mineral Recycling
These topics are subject to change and our goal is to refine them into more concrete collaboration opportunities. This will be done by exchange of information to identify gaps in the circular value chain, organising informal networking opportunities , themed events, seminars and round table conversations where cases are presented to interested members.
You can pass on your topical feedback and requests to Flanders Metals Valley by contacting the Flanders Metals Valley coordinator (link naar de contact pagina) or by filling out our innovation form (link naar het innovation form onderaan).
We keep focus on issues that are specific to the broad metals industry.
Use of hydrogen for metals production and processing
- Hydrogen as a reducing agent for metals production
- Hydrogen as alternative energy carrier
- Resistance of metals to hydrogen
- Need to develop new alloys or barrier coatings
Remark: there was a general interest in the hydrogen economy, infrastructure and supply challenges. These were discarded from the themes as they are tackled by more generalistic organisations such as WaterstofNet, in which several FMV members already participate.
- Alternative CO2 avoiding technologies
- Alternative fuels instead of gas/cokes
- Capture techniques
- LCA/certification of processes
Remark: Some of the topics go broader than just the metals industry. In the further refining and definition of concrete actions, attention will be given to metal-specific challenges.
- Mapping of residues/technologies
- Slag valorization in production (inc. heat recovery)
- Close collaboration between construction and metals sector
- Non-slag residues
- Metal recycling from non-conventional sources as
sewage sludge, plastics, wastewater, brines, lithium batteries, tailings
Remark: there is a will to exchange information and start working on very concrete materials which don’t have a fully circular application yet.
- Characterisation technologies/equipment
- Inline, sensor-based, non-destructive characterisation of mixed metal/waste streams
- Digitalization for characterization (AI, Digital twins)
- Sorting technologies/equipment
- Knowledge gap towards available technologies
- Mobile installations and robotic sorting
- Plastic/metal/ WEEE separation or sorting by chemical composition
- Specific materials/products
- Design of new alloys suited to be made from recycled content
- Printed electronics for product traceability
- Create awareness that recycled metals are a part of products to be able to remove the resistance against the use of recycled metals in certain applications
Remark: these topics have a wide scope and will be narrowed during future events.