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Marina di Pisa, Italy

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.3-1;ENV.2013.6.2-3 | Award Amount: 4.48M | Year: 2014

Every year, more than 50 million vehicles reach the end of their service life throughout the World. In the EU, the amount of waste generated by the automotive industry raised up to 10 million tonnes in 2010, and it is foreseen that it will increase by 40% until 2015. Thus, the appropriate recycling of this waste has important implications from the environmental point of view. About 8% of the total weight in the automotive shredder corresponds to non-ferrous metals, which is often processed by Heavy Media Separation, and handsorting. Vision systems can be used to separate metals based on their colour. However this requires thermal and chemical etching treatments of the shredder to remove coatings, and to induce surface colour modifications, resulting in substantial operational costs, higher energy and water consumption and associated waste and GHG emissions. Moreover, none of current sorting technologies is still able to successfully sort the light fraction of the metals (Al and Mg) into individual alloys, which consequently must be downgraded to produce cast aluminium. In the next years, unless new technologies enable the recovery of Al in the form of wrought alloys (cradle-to-cradle approach), secondary Al will not be completely absorbed by the market, and the production of primary Al will increase by 25%. This represents a major environmental concern due to the much higher energy and emissions of primary production process. This project aims at developing a new dry sorting technology for non-ferrous automotive shredder. First, shredder will be separated into different metals, based on their conductivity. To this end, a new electromagnetic sensing technique combined with a vision system will be used. In a next step, the light fraction (Al and Mg alloys, with overlapping conductivities), will be alloy-sorted using LIBS. A novel LIBS system design is proposed, enabling upscaling the sorting throughput by one order of magnitude with respect to existing systems.

Legnaioli S.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Lorenzetti G.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Pardini L.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Palleschi V.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | And 8 more authors.
Spectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy | Year: 2012

In this paper, we discuss the application of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy to precious metal alloys used for the control of the process of recovery and recycling of scraps and waste of industrial processes. In particular, the possibility to obtain sensitivity and trueness comparable to the current systems used in industrial environment in the quantitative determination of the elements of interest was explored. The present study demonstrates that laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy can be considered as a viable alternative to inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy for the determination of recovered precious metals. The limits of detection obtained are of the order of 0.2 mg/g for all the elements considered. The maximum deviation with respect to the nominal concentrations is around 1 mg/g at concentrations around 20 mg/g (gold) corresponding to a relative error slightly higher than ± 5%. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.4-2 | Award Amount: 7.73M | Year: 2013

This project will improve the consortium capacity of assessment of volcanic hazards in Supersites of Southern Italy by optimising and integrating existing and new observation/monitoring systems, by a breakthrough in understanding of volcanic processes and by increasing the effectiveness of the coordination between the scientific and end-user communities. More than 3 million of people are exposed to potential volcanic hazards in a large region in the Mediterranean Sea, where two among the largest European volcanic areas are located: Mt. Etna and Campi Flegrei/Vesuvius. This project will fully exploit the unique detailed long-term in-situ monitoring data sets available for these volcanoes and integrate with Earth Observation (EO) data, setting the basic tools for a significant step ahead in the discrimination of pre-, syn- and post-eruptive phases. The wide range of styles and intensities of volcanic phenomena observed on these volcanoes, which can be assumed as archetypes of closed conduit and open conduit volcano, together with the long-term multidisciplinary data sets give an exceptional opportunity to improve the understanding of a very wide spectrum of geo-hazards, as well as implementing and testing a large variety of innovative models of ground deformation and motion. Important impacts on the European industrial sector are expected, arising from a partnership integrating the scientific community and SMEs to implement together new observation/monitoring sensors/systems. Specific experiments and studies will be carried out to improve our understanding of the volcanic internal structure and dynamics, as well as to recognise signals related to impending unrest or eruption. Hazard quantitative assessment will benefit by the outcomes of these studies and by their integration into the cutting edge monitoring approaches thus leading to a step-change in hazard awareness and preparedness and leveraging the close relationship between scientists, SMEs, and end-users.

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