LIFE REPLAY is progressing towards circular ceramic inkjet inks

LIFE REPLAY is progressing towards circular ceramic inkjet inks

LIFE REPLAY consortium, led by the Institute of Ceramic Technology (ITC-AICE), meets today with the NEEMO LIFE monitoring team at the university campus facilities to follow up on the activities, find out the state of the tasks assigned to each participant and exchange experiences, as well as plan the next actions to be carried out.

Castellón, 22/06/22. The consortium of the European project LIFE REPLAY, coordinated by ITC-AICE and funded by the European Commission under the LIFE Programme (Ref. LIFE20 ENV/ES 000115), has met today with the LIFE monitoring team of NEEMO, at the facilities of the university campus of the Institute of Ceramic Technology of Castellón (ITC-AICE). The project pretends to move towards a circular model in the field of digital ceramic decoration, that is, to find a way to reuse ceramic inkjet inks waste by reintroducing them into the decorative process of ceramic tiles and thus give them a new life. LIFE REPLAY is made up of the following companies: KEROS CERAMICA, S.L., NEPTURY TECHNOLOGIES, S.L, AKCOAT RECUBRIMIENTOS QUÍMICOS ESPECIALIZADOS S.L.U and CTR CENTRO DE TRATAMIENTO DE RESIDUOS DEL MEDITERRÁNEO S.L.

During the meeting, the partners discussed and explained the actions that are being carried out. They all agree on a common objective: ensuring that ceramic inkjet ink wastes can be reintroduced into the industrial ceramic process by means of a specific separation procedure that meets industrial requirements. As a result, waste disposal costs will be reduced and a sustainable process can be reached, in line with the principles of the Circular Economy. In addition, it will stop the increasing exploitation of virgin resources in the field of ceramic pigments and organic solvents.

During the first months of the project, LIFE REPLAY has defined the legal framework for reusing inkjet inks waste. It also compiled information on the companies that potentially generate this sort of waste, both in the ceramic sector and in other industrial sectors (decorative glass and batteries). Two public reports including the results obtained are already available on the project website.

LIFE REPLAY enters now in a new phase of work in which it will design a prototype to transform ceramic inkjet ink wastes into new components for the manufacture of ceramic products (inks, pigments and tiles), making the ceramic industry more circular and environmentally friendly.


Review of the legal barriers and mapping of industries for the transfer of LIFE REPLAY solution to new sectors beyond ceramics

A public report from LIFE REPLAY project!

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LIFE REPLAY first action was aimed at collecting all the information needed for a successful implementation of the project and to facilitate its transfer to other industrial value chains beyond the ceramic one. This first action called “B1. Mapping and analysis of LIFE REPLAY framework” is now completed.

One of its outputs consists in a legal analysis for the future transfer of LIFE REPLAY to other industries, in particular to the sectors of decorative glass and of metal-based batteries. The information gathered during this task is summarized in a public report.

This document includes a mapping of decorative glass and metal-based batteries manufacturers in Europe, as potential ink wastes generator. It also compiles the environmental and administrative legislation which applies to these sectors, especially regarding waste management. This information will be taken into account in the transferability strategy of LIFE REPLAY solution to be developed in the framework of the action B5.

This report is now available on LIFE REPLAY webpage and can be consulted here.


Review of the legal barriers and mapping of industries for the implementation of LIFE REPLAY in the ceramic sector

The first public report of LIFE REPLAY is available!

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LIFE REPLAY project finished its first action which was aimed at collecting all the information needed for a successful development and implementation of LIFE REPLAY solution for ceramic inkjet ink waste recycling, and its subsequent transfer to further sectors.

As a result of action “B1. Mapping and analysis of LIFE REPLAY framework”, the project has notably gathered and analysed relevant information regarding waste generation from ceramic inkjet inks (tiles and inkjet ink manufacturing) and legal requirements for their management. This information is summarized in a public report.

First, relevant data related to the Spanish and European producers of ceramic inkjet ink wastes was collected, leading to a mapping of ceramic inkjet ink waste generators. In addition, LIFE REPLAY compiled the legal requirements related to and their management at European level and at country level for Spain, Italy, and Turkey.

This report is now available on LIFE REPLAY webpage and can be consulted here.


ITC-AICE launches LIFE REPLAY, a new life for ceramic inkjet inks

Castellón, 28th October 2021 – The European Commission, through the LIFE Programme, has approved the project LIFE REPLAY: Unveiling a recycling-source of heavy metal-based solids component and organic effluent for use in the ceramic industry, Ref. LIFE20 ENV/ES/000115. The kick-off meeting has taken place at the Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica (ITC-AICE) involving all the partners.

This is a bold initiative aimed at ensuring that ceramic inkjet ink wastes can be reused and reintroduced into the manufacturing ceramic process by means of a previous specific separation procedure meeting all industrial requirements. The promotion of sustainability and, thus, the minimization of waste disposal costs are the key issues of this project. In this vein, considering the current high raw material costs, LIFE REPLAY aims to separate wastes resulting in a solid component (based on heavy-metal inorganic pigment) and in a liquid component (based on an organic solvent).

Both will be reintroduced into the manufacturing ceramic process , inkjet inks production and pigment calcination. This proposal will also demonstrate the feasibility of using inkjet ink waste as a new raw material for the ceramic industry, transforming it into an alternative source of pigment and solvent that is not only environmentally friendly but also economically profitable.

LIFE REPLAY is coordinated by the Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica (ITC-AICE) with the participation of the companies KEROS CERAMICA, S.L., NEPTURY TECHNOLOGIES, S.L, AKCOAT RECUBRIMIENTOS QUÍMICOS ESPECIALIZADOS S.L.U and CTR-CENTRO DE TRATAMIENTO DE RESIDUOS DEL MEDITERRANEO, SL.

It should be noted that one of the most important “enabling technologies” in terms of decoration in the ceramic industry is inkjet printing, which has been prevailed over other traditional ceramic decorative techniques (screen printing and rotogravure) to considerably achieve a greater level of end-product customization, raise in process productivity, and reduce in manufacturing costs.

Unfortunately, it generates wastes that may be considered hazardous. At present, waste management of this type of inks consists of a chemical separation (based on a flocculation, precipitation and settling mechanism) followed by a physical process of solids removal using a filter press prior to disposal. This process generates irremediably industrial wastewater from the cleaning stages. Thanks to the implementation of LIFE REPLAY is it possible to reduce them to zero.

LIFE REPLAY partnership has been made up to extend even more the inkjet technology, laying the foundations of the circular economy and contributing to the sustainability of the manufacturing ceramic process.


More than 80 professionals were interested in the keys to sustainability in the ceramic sector

Castellón 09/11/2021.- A total of 87 professionals, 35 in person and 52 online, followed the Info Day held on 04/11/2021 at the facilities of the Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica (ITC-AICE) to find out what new technologies and best practices are being used to achieve sustainability in the ceramic industry.

Specifically, this activity, entitled: Info Day: “Sustainability in the ceramic sector” was framed in the dissemination actions plan of the European project LIFE HYPOBRICK, and had the support of the Spanish Chapter of the American Ceramic Society (ACERS), whose headquarters is located at the Universitat Jaume I of Castelló and more specifically at the Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica, which, together with the Vice-Rectorate for Research and Transfer of the Universitat Jaume I of Castelló, through the European and International Projects Office (OPEI) and ITC-AICE, presented several important initiatives that are currently being carried out to help enhance sustainability in the ceramic industry.

The opening session was attended by Jesús Lancis, Vice-Rector for Research and Transfer of the Universitat Jaume I (UJI), Yolanda Reig, secretary of the Ceramic Industries Research Association (ITC-AICE), Joan Piquer Huerga, General Director of Quality and Environmental Education of the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition of the Generalitat Valenciana (GVA) and Arnaldo Moreno Berto, President of the Spanish Chapter of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS), also the sponsor of the event.

Several successful cases and examples of circular economy and industrial symbiosis were presented, specifically some projects funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union, such as the LIFE EGGSHELLENCE project (Ref.: LIFE19 ENV/ES/000121), which is an example of industrial symbiosis between egg production companies and ceramics companies, led by Francisca Quereda (ITC-AICE) the LIFE REPLAY project (Ref.: LIFE20 ENV/ES/000115), which has just started recently and focuses on the recycling of solid components based on heavy metals and organic effluents for use in the ceramics industry, led by Jorge González Moreno (ITC-AICE).

The iWAYS project was also explained, coordinated by the Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, in which ITC-AICE and the UJI participate, with funding from the EU H2020 Programme (Ref.: 958274 ) which seeks innovative solutions for water recovery by recycling heat, materials and water in multiple sectors and which will be presented by Irina Celades (ITC-AICE).

A block was also dedicated to the low-carbon industry, where Mónica Vicent (ITC-AICE) presented the LIFE HYPOBRICK project: “Towards a low-carbon economy. Development of ‘non-fired’ construction materials from wastes”, supported by funds from the LIFE Programme (Ref: LIFE18 CCM/ES/001114), promoter of this event, followed by the intervention of the professor of the UJI, Eliseo Monfort who explained the DREAM project (Ref.: 723641), which has been working to design resource and energy efficient ovens. DREAM is supported by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission and its coordinator is the firm SACMI IMOLA.

Another block was dedicated to materials and components, where the FORGE Project (Ref.: 958457) funded by the European Horizon 2020 Programme in which ITC-AICE and the UJI also participate, was explained. FORGE is working on the development of novel and cost-effective coatings for high-energy processing applications, and this presentation was given by the UJI Prof. José Luis Amorós. Next, another Professor of UJI Enrique Sánchez, director of the IUTC, presented the REMEB project, an environmentally friendly ceramic membrane bioreactor (MBR) based on recycled agricultural and industrial waste for the reuse of wastewater financed by the EU by the Horizon 2020 Programme (Ref.: 641998). Finally, and before moving on to the debate, questions and comments, there was also a space dedicated to Occupational Health where the project LIFE NANOHEALTH: Reduction of exposure to nanoparticles in industrial workplaces (Ref.: LIFE20 ENV/ES/000187) by Vicenta Sanfélix Forner from ITC-AICE, as well as the SILIFE project: Production of quartz powders with reduced toxicity of crystalline silica (Ref.: LIFE14 ENV/ES/000238) presented by Professor Eliseo Monfort from the UJI.

These presentations were followed by a round table moderated by Francisco Javier García-Ten, head of the New Materials and Ceramic Technologies Area of ITC-AICE, with the participation of Joan Piquer, Director General of Quality and Environmental Education of the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition of the Generalitat Valenciana (GVA), Irina Celades, head of the Sustainability Area of ITC-AICE, Arnaldo Moreno, as president of the Spanish Chapter of the ACERS at ITC-AICE, and José Joaquín Santos, director of the waste management company, Recycling, Consulting & Services, member of the consortium of the LIFE HYPOBRICK project.

In essence, there are many and very intense R&D&I activities that are being developed and implemented, given that it is essential to achieve sustainability, trying to go in line with industrial symbiosis with the aim of moving towards a circular economy model, the object of this dissemination action.