Partnering opportunity

ERA-NET MIN2: companies and research institutions are sought for cooperation in research on a silicon recycling project

Summary

A Portuguese research center in the field of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering is seeking partners for an ERA-NET MIN2 project. The research centre is looking for producers of silicon wafers wanting to valorise silicon waste and recycling companies or research institutes/ universities to develop or use processes to obtain silicon powder. The aim is to get a set of tools to put into action an industrial symbiosis network to close the loop for silicon mineral utilization.

Technical Specification or Expertise Sought

The research centre is looking for partners: - Producers of silicon wafers that pretend to valorise the Si waste to supply the silicon waste for the recycling company. Also it will provide the case study setting for the tasks related to the development of the industrial symbiosis network and supply chain configuration. - Recycling companies or research institute/university to produce the silicon powder from the waste. Also it will provide the case study setting for the tasks related to the development of the industrial symbiosis network and supply chain configuration.

Partner sought

-- Producers of silicon wafers that pretend to valorise the silicon waste. Role: to supply the silicon waste for the recycling company. - Recycling companies or research institute/university. Role: to produce the silicon powder from the waste. They will also provide the case study setting for the tasks related to the development of the industrial symbiosis network and supply chain configuration.

Description

The mineral silicon is one of the critical materials for the European Commission. The demand for silicon is growing because of its utilization in micro-electronics components such as microchips or photovoltaic solar. However, the use of the silicon element is also essential for other industrial applications. Recently the silicon has been used as an inoculant agent in welding arc additive manufacturing. This process is one of the 3D printing technologies and intends to produce customized metal parts of large dimension. The use of silicon allows reducing the grain size and conferring better mechanics properties to the metal parts and reducing the need of post-processing. This ERA-NET project pretends to develop the necessary set of tools to put into action an industrial symbiosis network to close the loop for silicon mineral utilization. The industrial symbiosis network pretends to valorise silicon wastes discarded during the silicon based-wafers production, resulting from the cutting and trimming of large edges of a silicon block. Then, after proper processing, the silicon wastes are transformed in a powder that will be used as an inoculant agent for in welding arc additive manufacturing. For this, it will be necessary to develop research not only to demonstrate that it is possible to use the silicon particles in the process of 3D printing. But it will also be required to analyse the impacts (economic, environmental and social) of this network of industrial symbiosis and develop a supply chain configurator that optimizes material and energy flows between the various entities involved, to guarantee the sustainability of the network. Overall the main objective of the project is to take the silicon production wastes, transform it in a powder, and then use it in a WAAM productive process. To attain this research a systemic analysis of the industrial symbiosis network has to be done. The following tentative WPs are proposed: WP1 - Industrial symbiosis requirements mapping WP2 - Silicon powder production process WP3 - Process developing WP4 - Supply chain configurator WP5 – Network energy flows and life cycle assessment WP6 – Communication and dissemination activities WP7 – Project coordination Project Duration: 36 months ERA-NET MIN2 topics are related with increasing resource efficiency in resource intensive production processes, e.g. valorisation of by- products, co-products, increasing resource efficiency through recycling of residues or remanufacturing of used products and components, e.g. residues from manufacturing, increasing resource efficiency using information and communication technologies, e.g. supply chain management across the whole life cycle products, with new business models and with improvement of methods or data for environmental impact assessment (e.g. life-cycle analysis). EoI deadline: January 21 2019 Call for proposals closes: January 31 2019 Partners sought are either producers of silicon wafers wishing to valorise waste and recycling companies or research Institute/University able to develop processes or use existing process to obtain silicon powder.

Advantages and innovations

The research centre has strong competences on advanced manufacturing processes oriented to laser welding, friction stir processing, composites machining, additive manufacturing, and non-destructive testing. It has several laboratory prototypes for welding arc additive manufacturing and non-destructive testing. In addition, it is leading the research on the topic lean-green, sustainability and supply chain management.

Development stage

Proposal under development

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Not available


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