Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ProSUM Report Summary

Project ID: 641999
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ProSUM (Prospecting Secondary raw materials in the Urban mine and Mining waste)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

ProSUM – Latin for “I am useful” – aims to provide better information on raw materials from secondary origins. It focuses in particular on Critical Raw Materials (CRM) contained within Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), End of Life Vehicles (ELV), batteries and mining wastes and targets those that are available for processing in Europe.
Data for WEEE, ELV, batteries and mining wastes are usually very scattered amongst a variety of institutions, including government agencies, universities, NGOs and industry. Moreover, CRM data are often stored in a variety of databases with their own design and vocabulary, making any attempt to merge them difficult. Problems related to availability, quality, organisation, accessibility and sharing of these structured data are common to a large number of organisations and public authorities in Europe.
Further to this, data for WEEE, ELV and batteries are also frequently presented in unstructured sources such as academic literature, technical reports and individual data points. Here the temporal and geographic scope, assumptions, data representativeness and data quality are not described in a harmonised way, if at all. As with the structured data, these unstructured sources are similarly problematic and require measures to allow exchange, sharing, access and use of interoperable (spatial) data and services, in order to produce a more consistent knowledge base at national and European levels.
ProSUM has established a European network of expertise on secondary sources of CRM, vital to today’s high-tech society. It will coordinate efforts to collect secondary CRM data and collate maps of stocks and flows for materials and products in the “urban mine”.
The project is developing an operational data management distributed system based on high-level interoperability standards. Using the technical and organisational advances made in former EU-FP7 projects such as OneGeology-Europe, ProMine, EuroGeoSource and Minerals4EU (M4EU), and in coordination with the ongoing EURare project, ProSUM will contribute to implement the standards of a European geoscientific data infrastructure defined in the EU-FP7 EGDI-Scope project.
The objective is to develop an Urban Mining Knowledge Data Platform (EU-UMKDP) to provide end users with:
(i) all the available data and information related to wastes from the urban mine and from mining activities;
(ii) the results of a comprehensive inventory identifying, quantifying and mapping CRM stocks and flows at national and regional levels across Europe; and
(iii) a straightforward interface to enable them to view and exploit these data, and combine them with primary raw materials data from the M4EU project.
The EU-UMKDP is being designed as a fully-fledged extension of the EU-MKDP (EU-Minerals Knowledge Data Platform) developed within M4EU which aims to become the future European Mineral Resources (s.l.) data infrastructure. This provides an effective sustainable system designed to facilitate data updates and maintenance, allowing full access to information related to the entire resources value chain.
This work is important to society in that it creates additional intelligence and data for industry and policy makers to inform and support decision making which may lead to higher quantities of materials being recycled with the associated economic and environmental benefits for the EU and its citizens.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The focus of work undertaken during the first reporting period has been on:
• Developing the classification system to harmonise data;
• Defining the terms and architecture for the EU-UMKDP;
• Harmonising and collating data; and
• Establishing stakeholder and advisory networks.
Classification System
Extensive work has been undertaken in the first year of the project to develop the ProSUM Classification System. A new standardised framework has been established to organise, collate and aggregate the data which feeds in to the databases used within the project. This was a critical first step in data management for the project to ensure data to classify products, waste streams, composition and their stocks and flows is properly described. The Classification System developed includes a correlation procedure with published statistics e.g. Eurostat and other recognised classification systems such as PRODCOM.
For all parts of the ProSUM unified data model, definitions have been adopted from respective EU legal texts, other relevant sources and, where not available, established within the project. For instance products are described within the ProSUM database as, ‘components’, ‘materials’ and ‘elements’.
‘Components’ are defined as uniquely identifiable parts or sub-units of products. They are usually mechanically removable in one piece and are considered indivisible for a particular function or use.
The term ‘Materials’ refers to ‘engineered materials’ that are composed, manufactured and processed to achieve specific properties. Material properties are determined by the chemical composition and the necessary processing conditions. The material classification allows for assessment of the main matrix where CRMs are incorporated and also allows, in some cases like alloys, to an assessment of the CRM content. This information is important in order to quantify potential recycling materials.
The term ‘Elements’ describes the elemental composition of products or components without considering their chemical speciation and follows the periodic table of elements.
Data Harmonisation & Collation
Metadata information is being catalogued using fields based on Dublin Core descriptors, which is particularly useful for unstructured data. These descriptors have been harmonised to describe the consolidated data in the databases and to share and collate bibliographical files. However, because of the expected multitude, variety and complexity of the data sources, additional fields have been added to build, maintain and manage the ProSUM bibliography and Knowledge Base. Moreover, the descriptors used in the Dublin Core are in some cases open to interpretation. Therefore, a more precise description and definition has been developed. Based on this, an interactive bibliography file has been created containing about 420 individual sources on CRMs, mainly from scientific publications, and this forms the Knowledge Base in the ProSUM portal. The bibliography also provides a unique metadata ID, which is used throughout all project databases.
Available data on product and component characteristics has been compiled and described. Work is underway to describe the trends affecting CRM content in products and components and will be completed later in the project.
Available data on sales of products, current product stocks and future waste stocks has been collated. Understanding of the fate of complementary flows of waste products, e.g. those that are not reported in the national statistics concerning collection and recycling of waste products regulated under Producer Responsibility Directives, has been improved by the review of further studies.
Available data on the waste stream including mining wastes and the treated fractions arising from WEEE, ELV and batteries has been collated. Stocks and flows of wastes have been visualised in detailed system diagrams. These show processes and waste flow linked to data flows and availability.
Geographic, demographic and time-series data on stocks of in use and end-of-life products is being reviewed and consolidated for the EU. The resulting stocks and flows model will be ready at the end of 2016. The data arising from sampling and analysis will be incorporated by mid-2017. The data handling framework is being completed by activity to finalise the unified data model and the associated processes for quality assuring and harvesting data.
It has also been important to establish a uniform method to evaluate the quality and reliability of data across all product groups, in particular where uncertainty levels have been used in lieu of information on standard deviations or confidence intervals. The approach taken is to clearly distinguish between three sources of information:
i) containing actual measured data;
ii) based on coherent estimates and extrapolations; and
iii) with expert assumptions and extrapolations which are insufficiently substantiated.
Data of this third type is included in the Knowledge Base but excluded from the analysis. In addition, comments related to the data quality assessment; the description of data consolidation steps, where applicable; and the type of estimation used to produce a coherent estimate e.g. extrapolation, interpolation, is also stored in a harmonised way.
Stakeholder & Advisory Networks
ProSUM has established an Information Network (IN) in order to engage with stakeholders. This was launched at a dedicated conference in April 2015 in which 80 members participated. A further 100 have subsequently joined the IN as the project has progressed.
The members of the IN have been consulted on their end-user needs for data intelligence. A mix of industry and policy stakeholders was contacted to ascertain how they would like to see data, maps, charts and intelligence presented. The results of this consultation are informing on-going work to develop the ‘services’ which will be offered to end-users through the ProSUM portal (the interactive web based search facility to access the data inventory collated on the EU-UMKDP).
An External Expert Advisory Board (EEAB) has been created to provide wider expert input into ProSUM in order to help steer the project delivery and results. The EEAB is an international group representing the public, private and academic sectors that is made up of members with expertise across batteries, electronics, vehicle, mining and CRMs.
A detailed communication plan has been written identifying the target audiences along the value chain and the types of targeted communication which are being undertaken. Communication and dissemination is on-going and continuous with a project web site having been developed to provide background and current information on the project.
Design & Construction of the EU-UMKDP
The work described above has fed in to work on the design and structure of the EU-UMKDP whose specifications have now been developed. These specifications identify all main components of the system and their connection: from data types to data models, INSPIRE compliance, the construction of databases, web services and the harvesting system, as well as the diffusion system and the metadata catalogues for both structured and unstructured data, and the portal functionalities. The specifications of the Knowledge Data Platform have evolved with the needs and constraints expressed from all work packages and concerning all products and wastes (within scope). Figure 1 accompanying this narrative shows the ProSUM database schema for the urban mine.
The data models for the EU-UMKDP are under construction. The logical relationships between the different data types harmonised according to the classification system have been described using Unified Model Language (UML). The model is split into two parts: secondary raw materials in products, and critical raw materials in mining wastes. The UML model for secondary raw materials is in its final stage of development and code lists have been produced. The physical database is under development and is due to be tested with input data before the end of 2016. The extension of the M4EU UML model for mining wastes will also be finalised at the same time.
The operational data management ‘distributed’ system has been described and is comprised of a number of data models and systems that are at various stages of development and testing. The system for secondary materials is more complex than with primary materials as there is a lack of routine standard published reports on secondary raw materials. The final operating system will be complete in mid-2017.
Several components of the inventory and portal providing state of the art data on CRMs have been developed and are functioning and will be fully completed towards the end of the project. The diffusion system containing a central database and content management system has been built. Harvesting templates have been developed to store the data collated consistently and to facilitate automated upload. Figure 2 accompanying this document shows the portal that provides the main access to the diffusion system.
The mechanism to ensure future data and updates can be included in the inventory held in the EU-UMKDP will be completed by the development of protocols in the latter stages of the project.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The potential impact of this project will only be achieved by the take up of the data and intelligence provided through the EU-UMKDP and the IN. Therefore the data, knowledge and intelligence presented needs to be accurate, reliable, robust and pertinent to the end-user.
Specifically, the expected impacts of the project will:
Lead to the improved mapping of the availability of CRMs in the EU through coordination activities
By collating all available published data together with specific unpublished data provided by partners in the IN, a single inventory of data on secondary raw materials in the urban mine will exist for the first time. This goes beyond state of the art in that services are being developed in the EU-UMKDP which will allow end-users to interrogate the data and produce maps on their waste, product, component, material or element of interest e.g. printed circuit boards in Italy. (NB The granularity to which maps will be presented is dependent on data availability and quality and reducing levels of uncertainty). Through the IN the project aims to access the best available data, test the results and methodologies, and identify end-user requirements and services. The maps produced will be comparable with maps for minerals data.
Enlarge the CRM knowledge base through data collection
This will be the first time that such data has been brought together for both secondary raw materials and secondary raw materials combined with primary raw materials. In particular, the knowledge base is being expanded and improved on available stocks and flows of products and their wastes, and historic mining wastes. In the case of waste products, the gap in the known whereabouts of end of life products (not recorded in national statistics where the waste products are recycled or disposed of outside the producer responsibility system) has been reduced, particularly for WEEE. In the case of mining wastes, additional sampling and the characterisation of mining waste stocks is improving on previous state of the art data collected in M4EU. This enlarged knowledge base offers the real potential for actors in the treatment and recycling industry to assess the economic viability of recovering secondary raw materials, particularly CRMs. It does so by providing best available data presented in a way which is meaningful to decision makers at different points in the value chain. For instance, some pre-processors may be interested in data on whole products and/or components, whilst processors (smelters and recyclers) are more concerned about what state and compound the elemental metal is held. These factors impact greatly in understanding the technical and economic limits of recovery and recycling.
Provide a reliable and transparent source of information that will be better harmonised and validated
To date the project has produced a system for defining, harmonising and classifying data for all relevant products, waste streams and their composition. Secondary raw materials and CRM data are often stored in a variety of databases with their own design and vocabulary, making any attempt to merge them difficult. In addition, there are challenges related to the availability, quality, organisation, accessibility and sharing of available data from national reports and statistics. As an example, national reports for waste describe the amount collected and recycled but contain no data on the material content or composition. Detailed data to assess composition and stocks and flows is more often derived for WEEE, ELV and batteries from unstructured sources such as academic literature, technical reports and individual data points. The inclusion of such data has required the development of a new classification system to allow for the exchange, sharing, access and use of interoperable (spatial) data and services. This allows for correlation with published statistics and recognised classification systems as well as a harmonised approach for collating and aggregating data from other ‘unstructured’ sources. Data in the knowledge base is being harmonised in order to produce the highest quality data for the inventory with high confidence and low margins of error.
Provide a general “Mineral Resources” information base facilitating the exchange of information
Via the user-friendly, open-access EU-UMKDP, secondary raw materials data will be combined and related to primary raw materials data from the EU-FP7 Minerals4EU project. The results will be communicated on-line through the future European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI) at large. Update protocols, standards and recommendations will be provided to maintain and expand the EU-UMKDP in the future.
Using the classification system developed and following the rules of the European INSPIRE Directive to make data and services interoperable across Europe, a single unified data model for WEEE, ELV and battery products and their stocks, flows and composition has been developed. The INSPIRE MR data model is the European approved data model for mineral resources (MR), including both primary and secondary (i.e. mining wastes) resources. The ProSUM project will improve and extend the mining wastes part of the INSPIRE MR data model to include data on processing and mining activities and CRM content.
The EU-UMKDP will provide targeted data visualisations and maps of the Urban Mine and an information management system for all unstructured information.
It will provide an improved knowledge base, designed to aid and inform policy makers, industry, and research, to enhance resource efficiency of secondary raw materials in the EU.
Undertake communication activities for improved interdisciplinary and transnational cooperation in the European raw materials supply chain
To date, more than 180 individuals have joined the IN with all actors in the value chain represented e.g. researchers, governments, manufacturers, recyclers, municipal waste authorities, geological surveys and NGOs. In addition to most EU Member States being represented, members are also from Canada, Turkey and the US. ProSUM also has an advisory board consisting of manufacturers, recyclers, researchers, government, and CRMs, WEEE, batteries, ELV and mining waste expertise from across Europe and the US and Japan.

Related information

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top