New Gemini centre gives greater clout to developing hydrochemical process technology
Chose Herøya: From left Jon Petter Omtvedt, University of Oslo (UiO), Jens-Petter Andreassen, NTNU, and Arild Heggeset, SINTEF Industri. Here with Herøya Industrial Park’s Rolf Olaf Larsen (right), host and head of Pilot Arena Herøya.
SINTEF Industri, NTNU and UiO, three partners in the new Gemini Centre HyProS “Hydrochemical process technology in the circular economy”, kicked off the new venture from Herøya Industrial Park last week.
The day’s agenda was to investigate opportunities for cooperation between researchers and industrial companies, to gain insights into the challenges faced by industry, and to discuss possible cooperation and use of funding agencies.
Hydrometallurgy relevant for recycling
“The hydrochemical process industry and hydrometallurgy is a relevant area of the circular economy, due to the shortage of metals,” says Jon Petter Omtvedt, University of Oslo.
“There is an increasing need to recover metals from industrial processes. We use more metals than ever before, in new technology. Most renewable energy solutions depend on access to metals. Without metals, we would not have renewable energy.”
Met recirculation pioneers
The researchers met some of the parties spearheading new recirculation projects from the industrial environments at Herøya and in Grenland. They gained insights into ongoing projects to recover minerals and metals from emissions, waste and side streams from industry.
Sigve Sporstøl presented the SecREEtec project, an EU H2020 project coordinated by SINTEF Industri, whose industrial partners are REEtec, Yara, the English Less Common Metals (LCM) and the German Vacuumschmelze (VAC).
“We’re building up a European value chain for metals retrieved from Yara’s fertiliser production at Herøya in Porsgrunn,” says Sigve Sporstøl, REEtec.
“Here at Herøya, we’ve developed in stages, achieved a pilot facility, and are currently running in the demonstration plant to refine the metals we receive from Yara Porsgrunn’s raw material that they do not need for their fertiliser product.
From waste to raw material
R&D head Per Bakke described Norsep’s pilot facility at Herøya and their process solution to clean and process fly ash from incineration plant.
The result is undissolved, non-hazardous, fly ash, which can be used for various products, such as paving stones, as well as various metals for further processing by customers.
Hydro will recycle batteries
Christian Rosenkilde from Hydro described opportunities for profitable recycling of lithium batteries.
“We can see opportunities to recover minerals from batteries, for recirculation in the value chain,” Christian Rosenkilde says. “We believe we can leverage Norway's leading position for electrical vehicles in Europe, and that in ten to 15 years’ time we will have a good inflow of batteries for recirculation.”
We need to collaborate in the circular economy
Stian Johnsen from NOAH presented the company’s recovery project for salts that can be used by Yara or INOVYN.
“Here at Herøya, we have the infrastructure and industrial companies needed to achieve the best examples of the circular economy in practice. We can’t do this alone, but together every opportunity is open to us.”
Gathering expertise - creating momentum
Good humour: In the mingling breaks, there was plenty of good humour. Front, from the left: Per Bakke, Norsep AS, Sigve Sporstøl REEtec AS, Rolf Olaf Larsen, Pilot Arena Herøya/Herøya Industripark AS, Stian Johnsen and Karsten Rabe, NOAH. Back, from the left: Yongxiang Yang, NTNU, Carole Allen, Yara, Dag Øistein Eriksen, UiO and Jens-Petter Andreassen, NTNU.
Jens-Petter Andreassen of NTNU describes how expertise will be gathered at the HyProS centre.
“We’ll be combining expertise and promoting it. Together we’ll be creating momentum, and will get the authorities to invest. The task is revitalisation and achieving a new and greener approach to industry.
Gemini centres are our direct response to the Federation of Norwegian Industries in achieving the ‘international excellence together‘ vision.
Gemini centres are a model for strategic collaboration between parallel professional groups at NTNU, SINTEF, the University of Oslo, St. Olav’s Hospital and NTNU Social Research.”
About Gemini Centre HyProS:
Strategic collaboration partners are UiO Department of Chemistry, NTNU, Departments of Chemical Process Technology and Material Technology, and SINTEF Industri.
The specialised area is hydrochemical process technology, in which theoretical methods and hydrometallurgical unit operations, combined with focus on the circular economy for a sustainable process industry, play a central role.
The centre’s key task is to contribute to jointly building up robust technical environments of high quality, and to facilitate how together the local environments can address and achieve opportunities that add value to the overall environment.
The centre's overall aim is to fulfil industry’s need for research and development within the technical area, and to offer training for jobs in industry, research institutions and within higher education.
The vision for HyProS is to develop an internationally leading centre for hydrochemical process technology (including hydrometallurgy), where knowledge, education and research join forces in achieving maximum utilisation of raw materials and minimising energy consumption using critical elements.