Half a million funding from Business Finland for the development of circular economy of metals
SYMMET – Symbiosis of metals production and nature – aims to find ways to minimize waste materials or residues formation in metallurgical processes, and to establish how best to utilize secondary raw materials in existing metallurgical processes. It also wants to promote creation of research-based innovations and new business.
The production from current mines is not sufficient to fulfil the need for metals, especially when clean energy, e.g. wind and solar, and electric vehicles are produced in growing amounts. SYMMET is trying to find answers to the sustainability gap, which is the result of continuously increasing need for metallic materials.
SYMMET gathers together a large consortium of metal producers, technology and service providers, SMEs and research institutes active in the metals production ecosystem. The partners of the project are Aalto University, University of Oulu, Boliden Harjavalta Oy, Boliden Kokkola Oy, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Luxmet Oy, Outokumpu Stainless Oy, Outotec (Finland) Oy, Owatec Oy, SSAB Europe Oy, Tapojärvi Oy, University of Oulu, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Furthermore, Ferrovan Oy and Timegate Instruments Oy partipate as collaborative partners. The principal investigator of the consortium is professor Timo Fabritius from University of Oulu. The total budget of the two-year project is approximately €6.9 million.
Aalto University has been granted funding from Business Finland for the sub-project of SYMMET covering 60 % of the total project costs reaching max €514.000. Rest of the funding comes from Aalto University (30 %) and from the collaborating companies (10 %).
Three research groups from The Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering are participating the project: the reasearch group for Metallurgy (Prof. Ari Jokilaakso), Thermodynamics of Metallurgical Processes (Prof. Daniel Lindberg), and Hydrometallurgy and Corrosion (Prof. Mari Lundström).
“The research in Aalto focuses on finding optimum operating parameters for pyrometallurgical zinc leach residue treatment with non-fossil reductants and precious metals recovery from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)”, says the sub-project leader Professor Ari Jokilaakso from the Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering. “We also concentrate on energy storage materials as secondary raw materials in copper production and investigate options for using non-fossil reductants in non-ferrous metals’ slags for metals recovery and pyrometallurgical processing of electric furnace dusts.”
Ari Jokilaakso, Professor