WEEE-NET sets up a novel e-waste (WEEE) recycling business ecosystem by introducing an innovative mixture of gravitational, hydro- and bio-metallurgical technologies. Beneficiaries of this innovative technology are WEEE recycling plants, collectors, and sorters as well as territorial waste management public authorities.
WEEE-NET aims to:
- Transfer the proposed innovative technology mixture and localize best practices on WEEE management, treatment, and CRMs recovery to East and South East Europe recyclers.
- Build-up the networking capacities of key business and research actors involved in WEEE recycling and facilitate commercial agreements through matchmaking and networking events.
- Strengthen the WEEE recycling value chain by stimulating investments and business development, promoting entrepreneurship, and designing start-up/scale-up business support services.
- Raise awareness on the establishment of WEEE recycling as a pillar of the circular economy, highlighting the role of ‘EIT RawMaterials as provider of collaboration opportunities.
- Improve policy and regulatory framework in support for investments, by demonstrating potential gains for local communities and introducing recommendations for waste management authorities.
The project will introduce an innovative recycling method for CRMs from specific waste streams, using advanced techniques covering all steps for extraction: grinding, physical separation, chemical and bio-leaching methods. Its advantages are:
- Optimum recovery efficiency (>96%) for 13 different CRMs and other valuable metals, resulting in higher profits for recyclers.
- Reduced ecological footprint (418 Kt/year of CO2 emissions saved, 30% lower than smelting).
- Reduced recycling plant energy consumption costs and CO2 emission fines by 80%, operating at ambient temperatures compared to 1200°C of standard pyro-metallurgical processes.
- Lower waste management costs due to low acidity (low overall concentration and use of solvents that improves waste management performance, including use of bioleaching methods for extraction of desired compounds).
- Showcasing of the WEEE-NET technological solution by gathering and processing a limited number of different e-waste streams, to be used as treatment input for the demonstration of WEEE-NET technology mixture. This process will be subsequently diffused in actual recycling facilities in the rest of the consortium countries.
- Mapping of business actors along the WEEE value chain, relevant decision-makers and stakeholders by identifying WEEE collectors and sorters, pre-treatment centres, processing facilities and recycling plants, technology providers, research and educational institutions, managing authorities and organizations on a national, regional, and local level.
- Expanding the potential for WEEE recycling and the overall business case of the project approach, by designing a detailed commercialisation strategy to facilitate the transition to full-scale WEEE recycling outputs. The purpose is to essentially kick-start business development activities around the innovative technological mixture of the WEEE-NET project.
- 5 large recycling facilities implementing the technology mixture project approach, expected to increase their WEEE recycling and CRMs recovery efficiency and consequently grow business profits.
- 500 manufacturers, retailers, collectors (PROs included) and recyclers, reached through dissemination activities, will also participate in the transfer of experience and matchmaking events to form business alliances; over 20 successful matches.
- 100 Kt of WEEE/year valorized, instead of shipped, landfilled, or improperly recycled.
- 42 Kt/year of CO2 emissions reduced in East and South East Europe.
- 30 waste management authorities (regional and local) and 10 research institutions will increase capacities on WEEE recycling.
- 5 start-ups and scale-ups in recycling will be supported by the WEEE-NET Business Support Services created during the project.
- Over 200 potential EIT RawMaterials partners mapped and research analysis conducted on territorial market specificities in participating consortium countries.
- 20 national and regional administrations having been reached through engagement campaigns for public authorities, acquiring knowledge on how to support e-waste collection and recycling initiatives.