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HISER Report Summary

Project ID: 642085
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HISER (Holistic Innovative Solutions for an Efficient Recycling and Recovery of Valuable Raw Materials from Complex Construction and Demolition Waste)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2016-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

EU28 generates 461 million tons per year (in weight, a third of the total generated waste) of Construction and Demolition Waste (C&DW), ever more complex due to construction evolution (e.g. polymers, composites). Despite the high recovery potential, current EU average recycling rate is ca. 46%, versus 70% recovery target established by Europe for 2020, in line with Europe’s transition towards a circular economy.
An efficient recovery of raw materials from buildings will require both enhanced segregation of materials at demolition/refurbishment works (production of less complex waste streams, thus enabling a more efficient recycling) and new integral recycling approaches (supported by increased levels of quality assurance of recycled raw materials, higher certainty of their influence in current manufacture processes and -performance and durability- of the subsequent new building products, driving higher demand). Moreover, the inclusion of such recycled products in the European Standards and Directives can foster their market acceptance.
In this context, the main goal of HISER is to develop and demonstrate solutions for a higher recovery of raw materials from this ever more complex C&DW, namely:
• A software tool and a supply chain tracking system for an increased segregation of waste in demolition/refurbishment works
• Advanced recycling technologies for the production and automated quality assessment of high-purity raw materials from complex C&DW
• Optimized building products (low embodied energy cements, green concretes, bricks, plasterboards and gypsum plasters, extruded composites) through the partial replacement of virgin raw materials by higher amounts of high-purity raw materials
These solutions will be demonstrated in real projects and 5 case studies across Europe, hence the economic and environmental impact of the HISER solutions will be quantified from a life cycle perspective. Policy and standard recommendations encouraging the implementation of the best solutions will be drafted.

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

During the first 18 months, activity has mainly been focused on the development of solutions: (1) novel tools aimed at demolition/refurbishment works, with regard to the C&DW they produce; and (2) technological solutions for C&DW recycling, quality assessment of recycled raw material and development of building products including recycled materials.
In the line of tools for improved demolition/refurbishment works (increased onsite sorting is expected), two solutions are in progress:
• The Smart BIM-SD software tool. It includes a module for a guided onsite waste inventory using a tablet on a graphical (BIM based) model of the building, providing automated and reliable calculation of (waste) materials. Another module supports the design of the waste audit.
• An innovative tracking system is based on (and monitored by) an external and neutral organisation that will certify the selective demolition process. It is expected that, due to the monitoring, both the quality and the trust in the to-be-recycled material receiving a “certificate of selective demolition” will enhance.
As for the technological solutions for C&DW recycling, a number of specific (to valorise the different materials present in complex C&DW) technologies are under development. Obtaining high-purity concrete aggregates and ceramic aggregates is the objective of the following ones:
• Sensor based sorting equipment is designed to split, in one single stage, pre-processed mixed aggregates into (1) concrete aggregates, (2) ceramic aggregates and (3) others, being the purity of both aggregates above 95%. The prototype is being finalised.
• Electro-fragmentation for the selective release of materials adhered to/embedded in concrete/brick. A prototype is in construction.
• Evolved mobile treatment plant of the “C2CA concrete recycling process”, including ADR (Advanced Dry Recovery) and a (Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy LIBS) quality assessment unit (dealing with 4-12 mm concrete aggregates at 30 tonnes per hour, TRL6).
Additionally, building products including the aforementioned raw materials are under development, namely:
• Low-embodied energy “HISER cement”, based on recycled waste materials (use of waste brick, concrete fines and float glass was studied) and “conventional” Ordinary Portland Cement.
• Green concretes that incorporate “HISER cement” and selected (concrete) coarse and (concrete and ceramic) fine aggregates are in progress. Also a study around the input variables and output quality in the “C2CA concrete recycling process” is ongoing.
• Recycled bricks including up to 10% recycled ceramic waste. Test samples including crushed bricks of varying fineness, (gypsum and mortar) contaminated and uncontaminated, are being analysed.
Also recycling equipment and recycled products from gypsum waste are under development. Two gypsum recycling machines are developed: (1) a portable (to be taken inside the building) one-operator machine, for clean pre-consumer plasterboard waste (capacity: 600-900 kg/h, prototype is constructed); (2) a mobile (onsite/transfer point) machine, including sorting of other materials stuck to gypsum (capacity ca. 10 t/h, design finished and prototype being assembled). Some trials have started around the new gypsum products including recycled (gypsum/wood) raw material.
Recovery concepts for wood and mineral (glass and stone) wool have been sketched out. Crushing and refining phases have been tested (working with clean and painted wood, plywood, particle/fibre board, and different wools) and optimized. Recycled raw wood and wool are utilised in the manufacturing of gypsum plasterboards and extruded composites. Overall 34 formulations of (single and multilayer) composites including recycled wood and wool were extruded to test bars, which mechanical properties were tested. Virgin and recycled PP and PE were used in experiments.
HISER solutions will be demonstrated under representative case studies, mainly in the future. During the first 18 months, “business as usual” demolition works providing reference data have been executed in Flanders and projected in The Netherlands. Also a demonstration of “C2CA concrete recycling process” was performed in The Netherlands.
A methodological framework has already been established for the economic and environmental (LCA/LCC) assessment of those real cases from life cycle perspective. Moreover, material flow analyses aiming at understanding the current C&DW management systems and the improvement potentials have been performed. In view of the output from the assessments, policy and standard recommendations will be prepared.
A first market analysis report has been prepared exploring, amongst others, target groups and overall characteristics of the European construction and demolition market.
Project dissemination has been designed and materials launched (e-brochure, two videos, newsletters, etc. available at HISER has already been presented in almost 40 conferences, workshops, etc. and also in media.

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)

By achieving project objectives, relevant improvements to economy, environment and society are expected. For instance, unlocking a significant volume of various raw materials through conversion of waste in resources, reducing environmental footprint due to the increase in use of recovered materials or creating green jobs. Impacts will be more accurately established at a later stage in the project.

Related information

Record Number: 196225 / Last updated on: 2017-03-28
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