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.