Acronym INSTanT (Reference Number: ERA-MIN-2017_105)
Duration 01/05/2018 - 30/01/2021
Project Topic Within the European Union, more than 400 Waste-to-Energy plants are currently in use to convert 88 million tonnes of waste (municipal, commercial and industrial) to generate energy and decrease the volume of these waste streams. This thermal process produces approximately 18 Mt of bottom ash which could be considered as the ‘final sink’ for many End-of-Life products. Important quantities of metals (ferrous and non ferrous) and minerals (both industrial minerals and minerals for construction) are present in these bottom ashes offering a great opportunity for recycling and turning this complex waste into new raw materials. The objective of the INSTAnT project is to close the material cycle of resources/materials present in bottom ashes by using smart recycling technologies to 1) optimise process conditions in bottom ash treatment plants to maximize metal recovery; 2) separate out a valorizable pure glass fraction, and 3) detect and remove impuritities that hamper the high-grade recycling of the mineral fraction. INSTAnT will develop innovative sensor-based characterization technology allowing for fast, non-destructive, reliable material characterization to create data-driven decision tools for bottom ash treatment plant optimization and enhanced resource recovery (metals and minerals). This technology is based on machine learning and will turn big data into useful information by using artificial intelligence. Furthermore, INSTAnT will adopt a novel sensor-based sorting technology to separate glass from the mineral fraction of bottom ash. This will not only generate a new valorizable glass fraction, but also increase the quality of the mineral fraction to be used as high-grade construction material. Within INSTAnT, five partners (SUEZ, TOMRA, XRE, RWTH and VITO) are joining forces and bring together expertise in waste recycling, sensor-based technology and big data to maximize material recycling and reducing waste disposal whilst generating new business opportunities.
Network ERA-MIN 2
Call ERA-MIN Joint Call 2017

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek Coordinator Belgium
2 RWTH Aachen University Partner Germany
3 SUEZ Treatment and Recycling NV Partner Belgium
4 Tomra Sorting GmbH Partner Germany
5 XRE NV Partner Belgium