ForCycle II – securing and maintaining raw materials through treatment and recovery of dust from foundries
Resource efficiency is a highly relevant topic for the Bavarian economy, as it is very highly integrated into the international raw materials market and wants to continue to produce economically and environmentally compatibly in its locations in the long-term. A modern, sustainable resource strategy is not only targeted at the start of the raw materials chain (access, criticality), but also links it to the the end of the material chain (residual materials, waste) to form closed recycling processes.
Prof Dr Richard Weihrich (MRM Institute of the University of Augsburg) and Prof Dr Wolfgang Rommel (bifa) are working together with Bavarian foundries and suppliers on a research project to close material cycles in metalworking. There are more than 30 large and 60 smaller Bavarian foundries, which are a key industry for the backbone of the Bavarian economy, from precision mechanics to the vehicle and machinery industry. The project is being funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection.
Every second German company already uses recycled materials. A resources strategy supported equally by industry and the state is particularly effective. An important aspect of being able to provide even more high-quality basic raw materials for the domestic production industry in the future, is to supply them to an efficient circular economy.
The foundry industry plays an important role in metal recycling. Steel, cast iron and aluminium scrap is re-melted to make new products. Despite high fractions of reusable materials, no or inadequate recovery options currently exist for many of the types of dust separated out by exhaust gas cleaning in foundries.
Similar to other branches of industry, the way to even more environmentally friendly production and improved resource efficiency is a highly topical and important topic for Bavarian foundries. It requires measures for the increased reduction, recovery and reuse of waste materials. The economic viability of such a process is based on saving disposal costs and reusing the materials contained in the residual materials as a substitute raw material.
The objective of the project is to examine cost-efficient and environmentally friendly alternatives to disposal practices to date. The topic is being worked on by a team whose members include the University of Augsburg and bifa Umweltinstitut GmbH together with four South German foundries and manufacturers of treatment technologies. The goal is to develop and implement practical ways for Bavarian foundries to recover, use and recycle metal dusts. In this way, important resources will remain available to the Bavarian economy in the material cycle.
The project partners are the University of Augsburg, bifa Umweltinstitut GmbH and the following Bavarian foundries: Franken Guss Kitzingen GmbH Co. KG, Gießerei Heunisch GmbH, Kemptner Eisengießerei Adam Hönig AG and Trompetter Guss GmbH Co. KG, as well as the SMEs AKW Apparate+Verfahren GmbH and GPS SIC Keßl GmbH u. Co. KG.
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Dr. Karsten Wambach