The manufacturing of ceramic tiles in EU generates wastes at different stages of the production process. The estimated total amount of waste is more than 3 million tons per year. A significant percentage of these wastes can’t be recycled into the current ceramic products and processes due to the change in the behavior of the ceramic compositions during the manufacturing process and in the tile final properties. As a result, a significant amount of waste is destined to landfills or used as very low add-valued fillers. The project's main objective is to achieve zero-waste in the manufacture of ceramic tiles. For this, we are facing two main objectives:
• Developing a new type of ceramic tile for outdoor application (urban paving) that can incorporate in the body and glaze high content of ceramic waste. Other energy-intensive process wastes (from power plants or glass manufacturing) will also be considered.
• Designing a highly sustainable body preparation process for manufacturing the above ceramic tiles, based on dry milling technologies, capable of recycling all type of ceramic wastes.
Other objectives of the project are:
• Developing the new product from an environmental life cycle perspective.
• Quantifying and characterizing all the wastes generated in the manufacture of ceramic tiles and related companies (body composition suppliers, glaze producers and polishing facilities) and those from energy-intensive processes next (100 Km distance) to the ceramic companies.
• Designing body and glaze compositions able to recycle all types of ceramic waste.
• Scaling-up the laboratory results to the industry and determining the new process variables.
Disseminating the project results to the target audience (ceramic companies, public administrations, architects, builders, general public, …) especially in other European ceramic countries in order to replicate it.