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Integration of Underutilized Ashes into Material Cycles by Industry-Urban Symbiosis

Project description

Recovering valuable raw materials from ashes

Ashes from the incineration of biomass, municipal solid waste and sewage sludge are underutilised. In Europe, approximately 25 million tonnes annually end up mostly in landfills. As a result, a significant number of metals, nutrients, rare-earth elements and industrially valuable minerals contained in the ashes are lost. The EU-funded AshCycle project will investigate new methods for recovering useful elements contained in the ashes. Recovered raw materials will be processed into a form suitable for industrial use. Pilot demonstration projects will be carried out in Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Switzerland and South Africa.


The incineration of biomass, municipal solid waste and sewage sludge produces significant quantities of ashes in the EU: approximately 25 million tons annually. These residues have currently no use or they are utilized only in low-value applications. Major problems with the use of incineration residues in the construction, water treatment, and other industries are insufficient public awareness of the safety and environmental acceptability of the final products , the lack of uniform regulations, and readiness of the market to accept incineration residues as a supplementary material. The project AshCycle will demonstrate and implement industry-urban symbioses revolving around the underutilized ashes to reach circular and climate neutral economy in Europe. Pilots and replication demonstrations will be carried out in Denmark, Finland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Croatia, Slovenia, Switzerland, and South Africa. The symbioses will include all major actors from the value chains, namely ash providers, ash beneficiation handlers, concrete and adsorbent product providers, as well as engagement of general public. AshCycle answers unmet socio-economic demands, facilitates emerging ash-based circular products for market entry and to unlocks benefits for society by acceptance of new circular concepts.


Net EU contribution
€ 934 802,00
90014 Oulu

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Manner-Suomi Pohjois- ja Itä-Suomi Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 934 802,50

Participants (28)

Partners (1)