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


higher recovery of raw materials from Construction and Demolition Waste
higher recovery of raw materials from Construction and Demolition Waste

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Automated sorting and recycling technologies

While working on the HISER project 5 main innovative automated sorting and recycling technologies will be introduce to the market. All of them are aiming to achieve a better cost-effective recovery of the pure materials contained in the C&DW stony fraction.

  1. New generation of sensor based automated sorting technology.

    The innovative system will be the fusion of two very different optical sensor systems into 1 single system aiming to save around 35% costs and energy when comparing to inline separate sensor based sorting solutions. A popular approach is to split the light information via a beam splitter into two sensor systems (VIS and NIR-sensors). The resultant weakening of light makes this method not very powerful. Here, new ways must be found to develop a very compact optical sensor system. In addition to the detection, separation represents another challenge, especially for C&DW. The aim should be to produce two good fractions from a waste stream in one step plus a third fraction with unwanted material. Such three way sorting machines will make high demands on the design and the quality of the input current. It will also be adapted for selectively sorting of contaminated particles arising from industrial assets (non-residential buildings). The engineering innovation in the HISER project according to an automatic sensor-based sorting machine is to find a harmonious interplay of all construction components, taking into account economical and energy efficiency boundary conditions.

  1. Modernized electro-fragmentation technology

    The adaptation of existing technology to the selective release of materials included in the red (adhered gypsum or insulating materials) and grey fractions (adhered particles or fibers reinforcing the concrete) of C&DW will be the innovative challenge in HISER project. This step is essential for the production of a monophasic fraction and has to be based on intergranular breakage (i.e. fragmentation along grain boundaries) in order to avoid damaging the materials allowing then its high-value recycling. The evolved mobile electro-fragmentation will also aim to minimize the fine-size production and to develop a low energy intensive process of fragmentation to limit economic and environmental impacts of the recycling treatment plant.

  1. New low-cost classification technology (ADR system)


    One of the main environmental challenges in the construction industry, is existing a strong social force in order to decrease the bulk transport of the building materials in urban environments. Considering this fact, applying more in situ recycling technologies for Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) could be the key. To achieve this goal, a new low-cost classification technology, called Advanced Dry Recovery (ADR) is being developed. ADR performes purely mechanically and in the moist state, i.e. without prior drying or wet screening. This choice reduces process complexity and avoids problems with dust or sludge. ADR is applied to remove the fines and light contaminants with an adjustable cut-point of between 1 and 4 mm for mineral particles. It uses kinetic energy to break the bonds that are formed by moisture and fine particles and can classify materials almost independent of their moisture content. After breaking up the material into a jet, the fine particles are separated from the coarse particles. ADR separation has the effect that the aggregate is concentrated into a coarse aggregate product and a fine fraction which includes the cement paste and contaminants such as wood, plastics and foams. Within HISER, field experiments will be performed by means of a novel mobile pilot plant containing different unit operations such as: attrition milling, screening (>16mm), and mobile ADR insulation beside integration of the sensors and quality control elements. Both the up-scaling of the ADR technology and the process design for the integration of all unit operations in the plant (requiring basic design, detailed engineering and built engineering) will be carried out as to finally build the mobile pilot plant.

  1. Innovative recycling technologies for gypsum plasterboards

    HISER partners will innovate in the following gypsum recycling technology:

  • Development of low cost mobile compact equipment – instead of multistage recycling processes, this compact portable apparatus will guarantee the selective onsite recovery of preconsumer gypsum and cardboard with purity levels 85% for both fractions.

  • Development of advanced gypsum sorting and recycling schemes - providing high purity recycled gypsum, enabling manufacturers of gypsum building products to easily accept higher amounts of recovered gypsum from waste postconsumer products. NIR and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) sensors will be integrated in such novel schemes. This approach constitutes an innovative field of application for automated identification and sorting.

  1. New recycling technologies for C&D waste wood and other minor emerging waste fractions

    Develop and validate new cost efficient sorting and comminuting technological solutions for C&D wood, glass and mineral wool waste materials is one of the aim of HISER project. It will integrate material pre-crushing, fine crushing, sorting and cleaning into one system which effectively separates impurities and classifies the cleaned raw material into desired fractions. Refining and post refining processes will be optimized for the production of high quality wood fractions and fibers from both C&D wood waste and mineral wool waste to be used as reinforcement in composites and gypsum plasterboards. Additionally, specific refining and post refining processing techniques will be adjusted for producing high quality silica from C&D glass waste to be used as reactive filler in low-CO2 footprint cement.

The project has received funding from the European Union's  Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 642085.


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