International projects source: SICRIS

Mineral wool waste back to loop with advanced sorting, pre-treatment, and alkali activation

Mineral wool; construction and demolition waste; waste separation; geopolymer; alkali-activation; additive manufacturing; alkali-activated concrete; construction industry; alternative raw materials
Researchers (13)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  39206  PhD Urška Blumauer  Civil engineering  Researcher  2019 - 2022  27 
2.  53261  Ana Brodar  Civil engineering  Researcher  2019 - 2022 
3.  11292  PhD Vilma Ducman  Civil engineering  Head  2019 - 2022  500 
4.  39809  Ana Frankovič  Civil engineering  Researcher  2019 - 2022  28 
5.  30873  PhD Barbara Horvat  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  103 
6.  14943  Friderik Knez  Civil engineering  Researcher  2019 - 2022  289 
7.  51589  Anja Lešek  Civil engineering  Researcher  2019 - 2022  24 
8.  18452  Roman Maček    Researcher  2019 - 2022  38 
9.  37333  PhD Katja Malovrh Rebec  Energy engineering  Researcher  2019 - 2022  88 
10.  35473  PhD Majda Pavlin  Chemistry  Researcher  2019 - 2022  125 
11.  12521  PhD Andrijana Sever Škapin  Civil engineering  Researcher  2019 - 2022  423 
12.  18454  Dušica Tauzes    Researcher  2019 - 2022  10 
13.  31344  Lina Završnik  Civil engineering  Researcher  2019 - 2022  24 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0774  Mining company of silica sands and refininf of non-metal joint-stock company  Moravče  5033896  51 
2.  1502  Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute  Ljubljana  5866324000  10,361 
Mineral wool within construction and demolition waste (CDW) is considered largely unrecyclable. It is formed at a rate of 2.5 Mt/year and although it is only 0.2 % of total CDW, it requires disproportionally large space due to low density. The WOOL2LOOP project aims to close this material loop by introducing novel technology and value chain to CDW sorting, pretreatment, and processing. The quality of sorted mineral wool is upgraded by comparing and combining the following approaches: pre-demolition audit, robotized demolition and sorting, novel on-site analysis with time-gated Raman spectroscopy, and smart demolition practices. Pre-treatment involves logistical considerations and milling of the mineral wool waste to sufficiently small particles. Processing utilizes alkali-activation (i.e., geopolymerization) technology to convert reactive silica and alumina of the mineral wool into new building material products. Alkali-activation in this context is a completely new approach and it enables to diversely adjust the resulting material properties. Therefore, a broad selection of products were selected for WOOL2LOOP, ranging from relatively low to high value products: hollow core and pavement slabs, facade elements, acoustic panels, dry concrete, floor screed and 3D-printing equipment, for instance. All the required technologies and product manufacturing cases will be demonstrated in large-scale pilots with a wide geographic coverage within the EU. The consortium includes several leading large construction material enterprises and innovative SMEs to cover the whole value chain. Safety, health, environmental, and economic aspects are considered throughout the project. According to the preliminary calculations, there is a strong business potential in the WOOL2LOOP concept. Finally, the constantly increasing landfilling costs (approx. 250 M€ for mineral wool in the EU) create a clear economic driver for the project.
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