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The Design of the Pilot Plant for the Valorisation of Zamak Waste Starts

The beginning of GREENZO’s compacted pilot plant will allow for first-quality zinc oxide from by-products of the Zamak transformation industry.

Ibi, Spain, May 16, 2015 --( To this day, LIFE+ GREENZO project is totally immersed in the design phase and technology testing of the pilot plant. It is expected to have the final design at the end of this month of May, when the physical development of the pre-industrial pilot plant will start, it is foreseen to be achieved at the end of the year.

The project LIFE+ GREENZO started last June and since then a complete study on the state-of-the-art that allow knowing in detail the zamak transformation industry productive process as well as the characteristics and management ways of the different generated waste has been made. Additionally, all the supply sources of Zinc Oxide in the industry and the different industrial processes that usually are made for the production of this oxide have been identified. Furthermore, the requirements of the zinc oxide to be obtained and applied in the rubber/EVA vulcanisation sector, as well as in the chemical catalysis in the reforming of bio-ethanol, have been identified.

As the basic objective of this project is to achieve the material valorisation of most waste from this sector, once the waste with greater potential and interest have been selected, it is necessary to define the requirements the pilot plant must met.

In this phase, the 4 waste categories selected in previous phases (slag, vibration sludge, chips, defective parts) have been tested with different technologies to verify their behaviour.

Slag, chips and defective parts have been tested in different ways of obtaining the voltaic arc (TIG, plasma…) in order to obtain Zinc Oxide.

Concerning the vibration sludge, different pre-treating tests have been carried out. These tests are mainly based on the removal of the organic material that it contains and to obtain the metallic fraction. Currently, great work is still being done in order to optimise the pre-treatment conditions that allow for the standardisation of its later treatment using the same technology than for the rest of selected waste.

With all these tests, the fist conceptual diagram of the future pilot plant has been made.

Enrique Añó, co-responsible technician in AIJU, says “the pilot plant will allow the valorisation of a big amount of waste from the zamak injection process” and Rubén Beneito adds “This pilot plant will allow for obtaining first-quality ZnO from a valorisation process, what constitute a milestone of industrial weight”.

This project will be developed in 3 years, and it is funded by the European Commission through the financing instrument LIFE13 ENV/ES/000173 GREENZO. It is coordinated by AIJU and the research centre ITQ-CSIC; moreover, the companies WORTEUROPE and CAUCHOS KAREY participate in this project. The project website was posted in September 2014 and its English version towards the end of October. You can visit it at

About AIJU:
AIJU is a non-profit making technological center funded in 1985 with the aim to boost the children’s products and leisure industries, and their connected and related industries through technological innovation transfer. With this aim, it has a multi-disciplinary staff of 75 professionals that develop their tasks in the diverse areas of which AIJU is composed and has the necessary infrastructure to manage the diverse tasks for which they are well-known.

In this project participates the Innovation and Sustainability department, specifically the Environmental and Energy areas, both with contrasted capacity and experience to ensure the consecution of the objectives of the project.

The main working lines of the Environmental area are the implementation of clean technologies (assessment of the feasibility of the pilot plant for the valorisation of waste, the development of environmental technological solutions, etc.); the sector adaptation to the emerging environmental legislation (adaptation of the children’s products sector to the new European Directives on waste, minimisation, energetic valorisation and the des-cataloging of dangerous waste, etc.) and the LCA and products eco-design.

On the other side, the Energy area has as objectives the R+D+I of new devices for the generation and storing of energy, the development of new fully-controlled and automated processes for obtaining “clean fuels”, or the development of supports or last generation catalysers that increase the energetic efficiency of the processes, among others.

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AIJU - Technological Institute for Children's products & Leisure
Josefa Galvañ

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