The project is expected to make an impact on a range of industries, both from the raw/secondary materials sector, as well as from the final products domain. This is clearly reflected in the letters of intent that are attached at the end of the proposal. Importantly: this project is in line with the identity Flanders has and wants to strengthen.
In detail, Flanders, as a recognised front-runner in the areas of metallurgy and recycling but without having a domestic production of Portland clinker, is well-positioned to become a leader in the field of alternative binders based on beneficiated industrial residues. New residue valorisation activities may entail large economic value, both in terms of technology development and in terms of material value as such. Whereas it is difficult to quantify the metal value in low grade residues, due to the lack of data, it is more straightforward to make a realistic quantification of the potential for producing OPC-replacing, high quality binders from solid industrial residues in Flanders. The reason for this is that there is quite a good view on the quantities of produced ferrous slag, non-ferrous slag, incineration ashes, sludges, etc. Combining the targeted results of SBO GHRANTE, and a number of on-going/planned O&O, MIP ICON, EU projects, and foreseen SIM MaRes ICON projects, on upcycling residues into novel low-carbon binders, a roadmap for Flanders can be developed.
Contribution towards sustainability
GHRANTE contributes to the following seven postulated environmental innovation objectives:
- Raw materials savings: by utilization of fresh and stockpiled residues as a source for metals and construction materials reduces the direct need for extracting virgin materials.
- Energy savings: (1) by avoiding the energy intensive kiln process required to produce regular OPC (~4 GJ energy is currently needed per ton cement); (2) by reducing the cars’ fuel consumption due to reduction of the tyre vibrations, a major mechanism for energy dissipation.
- Reduction of environmentally polluting emissions: (1) by reducing/ avoiding the used of OPC, which production is associated with large release of CO2 (About 850 kg CO2 per 1 tonne of clinker); and (2) by reduction of fuel consumption by vehicles, hence proportionally also their CO2 (and other mentioned pollutants).
- Reduction of waste and environmental impact: This aspect lies in the heart of the GHRANTE project. GHRANTE will develop technologies to recover value from residues, both freshly produced and stockpiled. As such, it does not only prevent that additional residues are dumped, it also allows to reduce the residue stocks that currently exist.
- Re-use of and recyclability of raw materials: by pre-treating the residues and removing hazardous elements, the subsequent recyclability of the residues is enhanced.
- Lifetime increasing technology for products and processes: The development of technologies to develop novel binders from nontraditional starting materials may increase the lifetime of the resulting products.
- Reduction of traffic noise: The new LNP will be suitable for situations where the tyre/road noise is very dominant and where noise abatement measures are most needed, e.g. on highways passing through or in the vicinity of built up areas, such as the Antwerp Ring road.