Removal or recovery of hazardous substances and contaminants from secondary raw materials

European Call(s)

H2020 2018-2020 SC5

Name of the organisation

VITO Fleimish Institute for Technological Research, Belgium

Description of the organisation

The Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO NV) is a leading independent European research and technology organisation and consulting centre that develops innovative products and delivers client-oriented research projects related to energy efficiency, new materials, environmental protection and resource scarcity. VITO's Sustainable Materials Department has valuable experience of developing innovative materials and clean technologies from the initial stages of materials preparation, through advanced shaping processes to materials characterisation; coatings; beads and 3D printed materials and components in metals and ceramics.

Main areas of expertise

Structured sorbent modules (beads and monolits in ceramic and polymeric materials) with tuneable architectures that hold the potential to be used in a wide range of industrial processes including:
- production of beads/µ-spheres by droplet coagulation and spray drying
- 3D printing of structured supports/carriers, (catalysts and adsorbents) by emerging 3D printing technologies
- coatings
- dense or porous ceramic and steel fibres
- in-house research techniques including a range of comprehensive analytical and characterisation tools.

Contact Persons

Elena M. Seftel

Looking for: Partner(s) - Coordinator


Austria - Belgium - Bulgaria - Croatia - Republic of Cyprus - Czech Republic - Denmark - Estonia - Finland - France - Germany - Greece - Hungary - Ireland - Italy - Latvia - Lithuania - Luxembourg - Malta - Netherlands - Poland - Portugal - Romania - Slovakia - Slovenia - Spain - Sweden - UK - Iceland - Liechtenstein - Norway

Main Objectives:

• To develop and validate innovative selective metal recovery technologies (TRL 5-6), for example new low cost, selective and regenerable sorbent materials
• To perform upscaling experiments (TRL 5 - 6) validating the potential of the developed processes for industrial applications
• To reduce the environmental impact of the proposed processes by optimally closing material loops (e.g. solid residue valorisation, regeneration of sorbents…). Current landfilling of waste materials will be avoided.


• Technological challengesWithin the framework of the zero-waste approach, further restrictions are set by the need to maintain or even improve the quality of the residue material for further valorisation. This entails the need for highly selective metal recovery techniques that capture the metals without hampering the matrix from being re-used.
• Economical challenges The low concentrations of critical and by-product metals within the target streams make the economic viability of the developed process challenging. This can be achieved by the combination of highly efficient metal recovery and valorisation of the residual matrix. In fact, many of the targeted industrial residues are today an environmental threat because of the presence of metals within. Recovering these metals not only captures the intrinsic value, but also improves the matrix material quality up to a point where this can be reused as a raw material. As such, the associated treatment costs can be turned from a severe burden on industry and society into an economic and societal gain.

Previous EU experience:

EU research and innovation projects funded under the Horizon 2020 programme as well as other project through regionally and nationally funded schemes.