Recovery of critical raw materials from waste generated during copper production.
The RECOPPs project aims to environmentally and economically sustainable recover value-added raw materials, such as bismuth and antimony, as well as to eliminate and inert arsenic present in the waste and by-products generated during the pyrometallurgical production of copper.
RECOPPs is a project based on a technology proven at the laboratory level that intends to be scaled in a TRL 7 (pilot scale) to validate it as a technological solution in this operating environment.
The metallurgical industry is a key element of our society, which is faced with the generation of large amounts of waste, since the processed metal is only a small fraction of the raw material, and the presence of toxic elements such as arsenic, generating large volumes of toxic waste that must be collected and managed.
The reduction of the levels of these toxic elements to avoid their dispersion in the different environmental compartments has been identified in the last decades as the main objective.
Within this context, the RECOPPs project aims to validate a new technological solution that integrates the removal of arsenic in the form of a stable and safe mineral phase, and at the same time, the process of recovering value-added raw materials, bismuth and antimony, through from different process residual currents generated in copper metallurgical plants.
As a result of the project, in addition to improving the management of the waste cycle in the non-ferrous metallurgical industry, the circular economy approach is promoted, which allows the recovery of value-added secondary resources for easy commercialisation.
Eurecat’s environmental impact line, framed within the sustainability area and the Waste, Energy and Environmental Impact unit, carries out the life cycle analysis study to evaluate the environmental benefits of the technological processes developed in the project.