The SisAl Pilot Consortium comprises 22 partners from 9 countries with strong multidisciplinary competences required for carrying out the work plan and match project objectives.
Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet
NTNU is Norway's main technical university and ranked number 4 of universities in the world that have the closest collaboration with industry (after MIT, Tokyo Inst. of Technology and Eindhoven Univ. of Technology).
Materials Technology/Process Metallurgy
The Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE) at NTNU is the nationally leading institution for materials science and engineering, and responsible for research-based education as well as basic and applied research in the fields of material technology, physical metallurgy, process metallurgy (materials production and recycling), electrochemical process technology, and materials for energy technology along with inorganic chemistry. The research work is conducted in close cooperation with Norwegian and international industry and the business community at large, as well as the public sector. DMSE has several MSc programs that annually graduate approximately 60 candidates with a MSc degree in Materials Science and Engineering, Materials Chemistry or Energy Technology. Approximately 12 PhD candidates graduate from DMSE annually.
Industrial Ecology Programme
The Industrial Ecology programme (IndEcol) at NTNU was initiated in 1994. IndEcol’s research activities cover a wide range from global material flows, multiregional input-output databases, to impact assessment of specific technologies. The world's first PhD programme in Industrial Ecology was established in 2003 at NTNU. IndEcol administers two master programs, in Industrial Ecology (international master), and Circular Economy (Erasmus Mundus Joint Master starting 2019). IndEcol has extensive experience on research within the field of life cycle assessment, material flow analysis, and environmental applications of input-output analysis. Several faculty members contributed to the recent IPCC report. The programme currently has 25 PhD students, 8 PostDocs, and 2 senior scientists, a dedicated Digital Lab technical staff, and 7 core faculty members, and hosts 2-3 guest researchers on a continuous basis.
NTNU (DMSE) is the coordinator of this project. DMSE will work specifically with aluminothermic reduction, hydrometallurgical processing and materials testing. IndEcol will lead the LCA/environmental assessment/ benchmarking studies in the project.
SIMTEC EURL ST
SIMTEC is a French private limited company (EURL in French). This is a French engineering modelling company, whose goal is to assist Industrial Professionals and Academics in their processing development, research and innovative approaches. With strong collaboration and continual interaction, we help our partners structure their research and study scientifically their new ideas based on their experience.
Furthermore, we develop easy-to-use custom numerical software to provide our partner with a decision support tool based on scientific computations.
We provide our expertise in the following fields:
- CFD (laminar, turbulent, diphasic flow, fluid-structure interaction),
- Heat Transfer (conduction, convection, radiation),
- Electromagnetism (electromagnetic fields, potential computation),
- Structural Mechanics (elasticity, hyperelasticity, plasticity).
- Chemical Engineering (reactors, mixers, electrochemistry)
Our experience in these fields, combined with our expertise in modelling, allows us to assist our clients in an efficient research approach. From a punctual modelling study to a long-run partnership, our collaboration gives our clients a qualitative and quantitative knowledge of his engineering processes in order to enable optimization and quicker innovation.
SIMTEC has a proven experience in modelling processes, in which different physics are involved, like CFD, Heat Transfer and Phase changes, for our main clients. SIMTEC has been involved in a FP7 project named REEcover (Project ID: 603564), in which our mission was to develop numerical models to understand and optimize electrolysis cells. SIMTEC is currently involved in a H2020 project named SHARK (Project ID: 768701), in order to model and simulate numerically surface engineering.
In SisAl Pilot, SIMTEC will intervene in WP2 as the numerical expert to model Physical flows and kinetic aspects for reactor design and demo within the software COMSOL Multiphysics® (geometry, mesh, physics (both equation and boundary conditions), solve and post processing. SIMTEC will exploit the results of WP2 within its everyday business.
MYTILINEOS HOLDINGS S.A
The Aluminum Refinery and Smelter, formerly known as Aluminium of Greece (AoG), currently MYTILINEOS S.A - Metallurgy business unit, was founded in 1960, in order to take advantage of Greece's important bauxite deposits for the production of alumina and aluminum. The Company established its plant at Agios Nikolaos in Biotia. MYTILINEOS has been the driving force behind the development of the aluminum-processing sector in Greece. The annual production capacity of this industrial complex is 820,000t of alumina and 185,000t of aluminum. This sector employs both, directly and indirectly, around 40,000 people; it processes over 250,000t of aluminum annually and generates revenue of more than 2 billion Euros, which represents 1.7% of GNP. MYTILINEOS is committed to the constant satisfaction of all the needs and expectations of its clients, by offering products such as alumina and primary aluminum metal - and relevant services to meet their quality requirements. In order to achieve this capital goal, the company manages several products and services-related processes, taking advantage of all performance enhancement opportunities. The Continuous Progress approach involves the definition of ambitious goals, with their achievement being the object of consistent, controlled management programs. The Quality Management system covers all the company's activities and is certified by an independent certification body, in order to ensure its conformity to the International Standard ISO 9001. The company has also participated in numerous national and EU projects, concerning the optimization of its energy efficiency, the reduction and exploitation of its wastes and the reduction of its GHG emissions. MYTILINEOS is the largest vertical integrated primary aluminum producer in Europe, owning bauxite mines, alumina refinery and aluminum smelter plants and recently having installed a 334 MW co-generation plant producing electrical energy from LNG. High temperature steam from this co-generation plant is used in the alumina refinery, saving valuable resources through industrial symbiosis. Staring on 01/01/2020, MYTILINEOS will be an accosiate partner in the EIT KIC on Raw Materials.
MYTILINEOS is Work Package leader of WP3 Hydometallurgy Pilot and Alumina Testing, with the main responsibility to design and pilot testing, at TRL7, a hydrometallurgical slag treatment process to separate and recycle CaO and Al2O3 compounds from slag produced in WP2.
RWTH Aachen University (IME)
BNW is a software and consultancy company established in 2014. We assist our customers in assessing techno-economic and environmental viability of new opportunities in the circular economy and fast changing energy markets. We apply both commercial softwar and proprietary software, depending on the issue at hand. Our proprietary software suite is dedicated to assessment of energy technologies and hybrid energy systems by an extended Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) methodology, and we have also recently developed an investment analysis module to assess the economic viability of industrial processes in a lifecycle perspective, including impact of CO2-e emissions and emission costs. This module will be instrumental in our work in SisAl Pilot. BNW was founded by and is led by Dr. Torstein Haarberg.
BNW is Work Package leader for WP4: Exploitation. Main responsibilities for BNW will be to bring together economic and technical data from WPs 1-3 & 5, for the evaluation of the different business cases with their individual integrated process CAPEX, OPEX, NPV and IRR. Moreover, BNW will together with prospective commercialising partners work out value propositions, investment funding options, and technology and licensing models, as preparation for industry up-take. Dr. Torstein Haarberg from BNW will the project’s Exploitation Manager.
Befesa Aluminio SLU
Befesa is a leading international company that provides innovative sustainable solutions for the management and recycling of industrial residues. Befesa manages more than 1.300 Mt of residues annually, with a production of more than 600 Mt of new materials, which Befesa reintroduces in the market, reducing the consumption of natural resources. Its services are divided into two business units: Recycling steel dust and aluminium waste recycling.
Industrial activity Befesa Aluminio, hereinafter Befesa, is framed within eco-industry sector, due to dedication to recycling, recovery and recovery of all types of waste from the aluminium industry. The total recycling process operated by Befesa allows free metal recovery of all materials and oxide, which they process. The process of recycling aluminium is exploited by Befesa through 2 activities or lines of business:
- Production of aluminium alloy of second fusion:
The business unit of aluminium waste recycling carry out the recovery of aluminium, which is contenting from different wastes. In order to develop this activity, Befesa Aluminium handles the collection and transport, recovery of waste and aluminium scrap from the production of aluminium alloys, as well as marketing.
- Recovery and reuse of waste:
The main activity of this second area is the production of concentrated aluminium, aluminium oxides and crystallized salts from waste of secondary aluminium production (salt slag and aluminium slag powder filter powders SPLs (spent pot linings)). Therefore, the 2nd industrial activity of Befesa aluminium is also the recycling, recovery and reuse of waste from secondary aluminium melting.
The activities developed by Befesa are a fundamental and important link in the life cycle of aluminium. Activities in the primary aluminium production plants, processing facilities and aluminium finish, or aluminium smelters in general, would be totally unfeasible without the existence of industries like Befesa in charge of treatment, recovery and recycling of waste they generate. Befesa transforms the waste into raw materials assimilated.
In SisAl Pilot, Befesa is responsible for characterizing, selecting and preparing Al scrap and dross suitable for the SisAl process. Befesa is the main provider of Al scrap and dross to business case 5. In addition, Befesa will provide CaO-Al2O3-slag to MYTILINEOS for further processing of SiO2-CaO-Al2O3-slag in WP3.
Explotacion de Rocas striales y Minerales
- ERIMSA provides direct employment to more than 250 workers in Castilla-León and Galicia, as well as many indirect jobs through auxiliary companies.
- ERIMSA produces annually more than 740,000 tons of metallurgical quartz and aggregates for construction.
- Quartz is entirely exported to Norway and others countries through the ports of A Coruña and Avilés. It is the second company with the largest volume of bulk exports in the Port of A Coruña and is also the second largest in Galicia in terms of aggregates production.
- 1st Environment Award Spanish Federation of Aggregates 2.017
- Category: Good environmental practices
- 1st Social Health and Safety Award Spanish Federation of Aggregates 2.017
- Category: Health
- European Award for Sustainable Development 2016. Certificate of excellence for its environmental practices in the project of recovery carried out in an area of lagoons of high ecological value in Galicia.
- 1st Environment Award Spanish Federation of Aggregates 2015
- Category: Good environmental practices.
- ERIMSA carries out all its operations with the objective of minimizing its impact on the environment, safety and health of the work team.
- Internal regulations, procedures, communication and audits ensure compliance with both current legislation and our preventive policy of zero accidents.
- In line with its philosophy of innovation and with the goal of opening new lines of business, ERIMSA launched three lines of sands: Q-Bed (recommended as beds for cows breaded in open housing), Q-Golf (to add value to the golf courses) and Q-Play (suitable for the construction and maintenance of sports facilities).
- ERIMSA has developed a mobile App to optimize the production, service and distribution of Q-Bed, which has achieved a Mention of Honor in the Innovation Competition of the GrandAgro Silleda 2017 Fair and, also for its innovation, a prize in the Vegadeo 2016 Show.
- In SisAl Pilot, ERIMSA is work package leader of WP 1 In- and output material properties, mixes and analyses with the main focus to select, characterize and prepare quartz from ERIMSA`s mine suitable for the SisAl process. ERIMSA is the main provider of quartz to business case 5 and also the lime which will be taken in Spanish well-known mines for its high quality.
National technical university of Athens
The Laboratory of Metallurgy (LabMet) has experienced significant progress in the last 30 years in terms of research and development projects in various fields, like extractive metallurgical process development, rehabilitation of sites polluted from mining and metallurgical industries, thermodynamic studies of metallurgical systems, mathematical modelling, simulation of metallurgical and environmental protection processes, synthesis of inorganic polymeric materials from mining and metallurgical wastes, networking in the areas of mining, ornamental stones and processing. All these activities have led to the gain of considerable expertise and international reputation. In the last 10 years alone the laboratory of metallurgy has been involved in more than 30 National and European research projects, attracting in total more than 10 million Euros in funding and producing more the 300 scientific publications in international journals and international scientific conferences. The Laboratory of Metallurgy currently employs 6 members of academic staff, 5 senior engineers holding Ph. D. degree and over 15 postgraduate students. The approved research funding of the laboratory for the last 3 years was 6 million euros.
NTUA LabMet has expertise in hydrated aluminas precipitation from alkaline solutions and has invented and patented the “boehmite process”, a process for precipitating boehmite from supersaturated aluminate solutions.
In SisAl Pilot, NTUA will be involved in the hydrometallurgical processing of slags, after the reductive smelting of raw materials, including leaching with Na2CO3/NaOH solutions for the production of aluminate solutions suitable for subsequent treatment, precipitation of tri-hydrated alumina from aforementioned solutions and calcination thereof, in order to produce metallurgical grade alumina. In addition, NTUA will assist MYTILINEOS in performing the pilot scale tests.
Hydro Aluminium AS
Hydro is an international Aluminium company, with its main office in Norway Oslo. Hydro is fully integrated with production of energy, alumina, anode plants, primary metal, casthouse and down-stream processing for all major primary products and a wide range of recycling activity. Hydro have internally R&D activities on smelters technology, covering anodes plants and electrolysis, casthouse processes and products. Hydro has developed own technology for carbon, electrolysis and casthouse casting. Comprehensive cooperation with several universities and other institutes.
In SisAl Pilot Hydro is the main provider of Al scrap, dross and 2nd cut Spent Pot Lining (SPL) to business case 2 and 3. Hydro is responsible for supplying information on provided fractions for the process in WP1 as well as characterising the hydrometallurgical produced alumina in WP3.
Consorcio Instituto Tecnolóxico de Matemática Industrial
The Technological Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITMATI) provides advanced solutions for productive sectors of society, especially businesses, industries and the public administration. Our main function is to transfer mathematical technology to help improve competitiveness and support innovation in the productive sector.
ITMATI is a public consortium in which the three Galician universities participate. Its main aim is to become a centre of technological research of international reference in the field of Industrial Mathematics. In addition to its own staff, nine research groups in Industrial Mathematics from the 3 Galician universities collaborate with us. These groups have extensive experience and recognized expertise in the development of solutions for the business world, either independently, in collaboration with companies or with research groups in other fields.
We offer our customers research and development tailored to provide solutions specific to their unique needs. Confidentiality of the work performed can be assured, and is based on customer requirements. In addition, we also collaborate in seeking funding, protecting the results, and can advise the client on the best ways to commercialise the results.
According to its previous experience, the research group from ITMATI is willing to participate in the numerical simulation tasks of the project related with both the furnaces and the subsequent solidification (casting) processes.
The main responsibility for ITMATI in SisAl Pilot is to provide a model-based support to the pilot at FRey in WP2 in terms reactions in the induction furnace and segregation of the different element, in particular the silicon, during the liquid cooling and also the dynamic chemical reactions in the Befesa process.
SINTEF is the largest independent contract research organization in Scandinavia and the 4th largest in Europe with approximately 2000 employees (70% of them are researchers). It aims to be a world leading research institute. SINTEF works closely with industry in development of advanced materials, products, processes and new tools, and seeks out new, environmentally friendly processing methods that will increase productivity and raise quality standards. SINTEF is one of the top 20 research organizations in the European Framework Programs with more than 273 projects between 2007 and 2013. The department for Metal Production and Processing in Trondheim will be mostly involved in the SisAl project.
In SisAl Pilot, SINTEF will perform tasks dealing with analysis, characterisation and selection of material mixes, assessment of melting properties (WP1), demo-support and design of experiments (DoE), statistical based evaluation (WP2), and hydrometallugical small scale test in WP3.
SBC is a consultancy company specialized in the sector of ferroalloys and particularly in silicon metals and ferrosilicon. They assist their customers in assessing everything related in this field from the raw materials until the end products going by the different process existing in the industrial factories. In addition, SBC provides support in environmental and safety aspects, process layout, running procedures etc. The main speciality is related to electrode operation and the metallurgical way to purify the silicon metal until the level of solar grade. SBC was founded by Ing. Javier Bullon, who is the managing director of the company.
In SisAl Pilot, SBC is responsible for the Spanish business case as well as the coordination between the Spanish partners; ITMATI, where Mr Bullón is “professor ad honorem”, ERIMSA, Fundiciones Rey and Befesa. SBC is also strongly involved in WP1 and WP2 by sharing extensive knowledge from the silicon industry.
FUNDICIONES REY, SL
FUNDICIONES REY, SL (FRey) is a Spanish company that was founded in 1944. With over 75 years of experience in foundry activity, they manufacture all types of cast parts from drawings or patterns in grey and nodular cast iron, cast steel, cast bronze and cast aluminum, using greensand mould process and furan resin. FRey can also supply centrifugal casting, as well as machining, heat treatment, shot blasting and painting.
FRey has developed a symbiosis between traditional casting production and new industrial techniques. Their objective is to attend their customer’s satisfaction, completing the requirements of delivery and quality.
Over the years, FRey has manufactured and sold their castings to customers all around the world. Their products are aimed at a wide range of industries, for example the Marine, Pulp and Paper, Wind Energy, Chemicals, Cement, Oil, Machine Tool and Hydro industries, among many others.
FRey is a company that has a strong commitment to creating products with high technical features and due to that; they are in possession of the following certifications: DNV-GL; ABS; Lloyd's Register; Bureau Veritas; and ISO 9001.
FRey has a close relationship with R&D company called Rey bronzed casting SL, which can be consider as third company in terms of the SisAl project because it has smaller furnaces and for some test it will be used before to go to the industrial furnaces in the mother company FRey.
FRey, is responsible for laboratory and pilot tests aiming at producing Al-Si alloys by induction enhanced reduction in WP2 and also the use of the rotary gas furnace in high temperature and element for casting the mix Al-Si-slag and separate the different elements. These tests are related to the 5th business case.
Wacker Chemicals Norway
Wacker has a global network of production sites spanning all key regions. 13,800 employees on five continents devise innovative solutions locally for maximum customer benefit and generate synergies for efficient collaborations. To this end, Wacker maintain and further develop an integrated management system in accordance with ISO, GMP and sustainable development, as well as actively participate in the global Responsible Care® program. Quality, health, safety, and environmental awareness are the cornerstones of our entrepreneurial mind set and practices at all Wacker sites.
In the town of Kyrksæterøra in Norway, Wacker acquired its first silicon plant effective July 1, 2010. It was a strategic decision towards backwards integration of the Wacker Silicones business to secure raw material deliveries. The plant has been running since 1964 and has a yearly capacity of appr. 50,000 metric tons of silicon. The process runs continuously and in total 180 employees are running the operations.
In SisAl Pilot, Wacker will provide quartz fines and slag to the pilot tests, prepare, select and characterize raw materials, help running the pilot test at RWTH Aachen in addition to running a business case and process evaluation.
Specialty raw materials, namely High Purity Alumina (HPA) and Silicon, are cornerstones of the energy transition with a current market volume of $5’000 million and double digit yearly growth. Further cost reductions in solar cells and expansion in efficient lightening (LED) may soon be limited by inefficient legacy production processes of the raw material supply chain. SiQAl was founded in February 2018 and establishes a metallurgical production process for HPA and silicon that is resource efficient, highly profitable and specifically designed to serve the needs of the energy transition.
SiQAl is participating in WP2 and WP3 within this project. The company will focus on business case 4 and demonstrate the refining of Si and alumina products for application as SoG-Si as well as HPA for sapphire growth.
Dow Silicones Corporation
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden – Rossendorf e.V.
The Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden – Rossendorf e.V. (HZDR) is a non-profit research organisation and a member of the German ”Helmholtz Association”. It is funded by German Federal and Saxonian Authorities. HZDR is dealing with application-oriented basic research, focused on three major research topics: matter, energy, and health. Around 1,100 people are employed at HZDR.
HZDR consists of eight institutes, of which the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) participates in the SisAl proposal. HIF is engaged in the development of innovative technologies for the economy so that different raw materials can be made available and used more efficiently or recycled in an environmentally friendly manner. To achieve these goals HIF holds extensive knowledge and experience in the fields of exploration, mining, processing and metallurgical treatment of complex waste materials as well as in the analysis and characterisation of those materials.
In SisAl Pilot we lead WP5. Together with our WP partners we plan to demonstrate the feasibility of the sub-processes and main products developed in SisAl with respect to environmental, economic and technical (EET) performance, and benchmark towards existing technologies and supply chains also with respect to exergy; establish and maintain a database for collecting, compiling and curating the high number of analytical results and material streams expected during the development of the project with analytical support to other WPs when needed.
Mintek is South Africa’s national mineral research organisation and is one of the world’s leading technology organisations specialising in mineral processing, extractive metallurgy and related areas. Mintek works closely with industry and other R&D institutions and provides service test work, process development and optimisation, consulting and innovative products to clients worldwide. Mintek is a state-owned science council which reports to the Minister of Mineral Resources of South Africa.
Mintek’s mandate is to serve the national interest through research, development and technology transfer, to promote mineral technology and to foster the establishment and expansion of industries in the field of minerals and products derived therefrom.
The technical programmes at Mintek are aimed at generating high economic returns for the national and regional economies while social programmes focus on skills development and educational initiatives. An important target is the nurturing of self-sustaining local economies in areas of South Africa where smaller minerals extraction and beneficiation enterprises have the capability to generate broad-based employment and wealth. The Mintek corporate structure is headed by a Board, which includes a Chairperson and Mintek’s CEO, together with an additional six to nine other members. The Chairperson is appointed by the Minister of Mineral Resources of South Africa.
Mintek was established in 1934 and currently employs around 750 people of which 250 are professionals in the field of process metallurgy. The Pyrometallurgy Division employs 83 people, including 29 engineering staff, 3 with Ph.D. degrees, and 5 with master’s degrees in engineering.
In SisAl Pilot, Mintek is involved in the designing and verification of the process in WP2 and in the business case development in WP4. A large-scale demo will be performed at Minteks 3MW furnace facility.
Silicor Materials Iceland ehf.
Over the last six years Silicor inc. (USA) developed a process to produce Solar Grade Silicon from silicon metal (MG-Si) using simple metallurgical methods at low costs. While standard industrial methods like the Siemens process require a lot of energy (70-90kWh/kg) and stabilized at costs of (13-15 USD/kg) Silicor’s process requires 60% less energy and has costs below 10 USD/kg. Running a pilot line in Ontario (Canada) the process yields were verified and, based on this experience, a cost model, layout and specification for a plant producing 10k metric tons (MT) of silicon was developed and is now in a final stage of planning.
Silicor is participating WP2 and WP4 within this project. The company will focus on business case 4 and has the plan to demonstrate the refining of Si products for application as HP-Si.
Elkem AS, Technology
Elkem AS, Technology is a business unit in in Elkem AS responsible for corporate R&D projects, technology development and industrial projects. Elkem is one of the world’s leading companies for environmentally responsible production of materials. Its principal products are silicon, silicones, ferrosilicon, foundry alloys, carbon materials and microsilica. Elkem has four business areas and about 6200 employees.
In SisAl Pilot, Elkem is WP2 leader and will perform a set of large scale aluminothermic experiments (>10) in an induction furnace at Elkem’s pilot station in Kristiansand, Norway. Different raw material mixes will be run to target different Si and slag products will be evaluated.
In SisAl Pilot, CiaoTech leads WP6, the dissemination and Communication Work package focusing on defining and implementing the dissemination and communication strategies in strict collaboration of all project partners.
Innovation Engineering Srl
Innovation Engineering is focused on the development advanced Knowledge Search and Management solutions. The company is currently involved in R&D projects developing Ontologies to structure knowledge within the innovation process including usage if patents and scientific papers (project TECH IT EASY – funded by the EC contract 232410), and advanced search systems to support the search and retrieve of external knowledge following the Open innovation paradigm (project INSEARCH – FP7 contract 262491), of which Innovation Engineering is Coordinator.
The main competences rely in Knowledge Management Systems, Applications Development, Web Service and Back End Integration, Rich Internet Applications (RIA), and Mobile Development.
INNEN is involved in WP6, dedicated dissemination and communication activies, by developing the project dissemination kit and website.