TRAWMAR PROJECTS OVERVIEW
The recognition, throughout the European Union and indeed the rest of the world, that sustainable growth should be the controlling process for guiding the development of technology through the millennium and beyond, is now well established. The more difficult problem is defining the content and thrust of the effort necessary to convert the recognition into practice and then demonstrating, through best practice, the techniques and technology appropriate to reinforce the value of sustainibility. The value can and should be measured by both environmental as well as financial gains and there is no more logical starting point than Targeted Research Action on Waste Minimisation and Recycling (TRAWMAR). TRAWMAR has as its initial objective the task of arranging regular annual forums at which the representatives of EU supported R&D projects meet to present their own studies, hear invited review papers and through the medium of focused workshops, identify technological opportunities that may form or be incorporated into both new programmes or projects. TRAWMAR brings together industry, universities and other research groups into a Network of closer involvement to promote technology related to processes and techniques that will reduce waste and improve the reuse of parts of materials. To provide even more focus, four Clusters have been created within TRAWMAR that permit close participation in similar areas and yet allow interchange within the Network as a whole. EUROPEAN DIMENSION AND PARTNERSHIP It is estimated that Europe produces over 423 tones of waste each year, of which the industrial and common waste account for 182 and 160 million tones respectively, whilst some 22 million tones of dangerous or toxic waste is also produced. Throughout the EU much research is being undertaken but in many cases the resources and indeed total awareness of the extent of waste production in different sectors, let alone in other member states, is unknown. The TRAWMAR Network provides both a focus and a conduit for dissemination throughout the EU of best practical environmental options. Whilst the waste or by- products from many essential processing stages have fundamentally low economic values, it is, therefore, financially impossible for major new technology such as plasma or biotreatment to be developed and proven without setting up a collaborative project and without securing funding from the EU. The consortium within the project at this time includes a total of 64 industrial partners, 24 industrial research organisations and 16 universities represented by 16 associate partners who have joined together under TRAWMAR to identify and promote new technology developed under EU funding. This will ensure maximum interaction, avoid overlap and optimise publicity to create the most inviting conditioned for technology can be transferred.
POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS The development of cost effective environmentally acceptable processes for the treatment of solid liquid and wet solid wastes from the multi-sectoral producers in TRAWMAR will be of substantial strategic importance to the European Union as it will enable:
1. Recovery of metal values from waste water, muds, residues, flue dusts and slags, which are presently uneconomic to treat, to be processed to saleable products;
2. Reduce the volumes of waste material that have to be sent to landfill and creation of environmentally acceptable wastes;
3. Increase the use and transfer of technology to improve waste minimisation and increase recycle within the EU and provide the technological impetus for further research;
4. Assist the sustainable use of materials and increase the dependence on imported technology.
These benefits will have the following advantages:
- Increase the treatment options for secondary and tertiary arising within the metals industry;
- Secure additional markets for previous waste material;
- Improve the sustainable use of raw materials and reduce the need to increase high energy consuming primary metal production;
- Provide export potential to the US and Far East and other market areas for technology to treat low grade arising in the minerals, metals and other manufacturing sectors.
All of the above will not only provide security for those already in employment but will open up new opportunities for increased employment in these sectors.
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