The PCR demonstration project is aimed at demonstrating and evaluating the innovative ECR technique on a (semi) production scale. Waste-to-Energy bottom-ash will be treated in the most environmental friendly and economic efficient way. The project will be demonstrated in a “scalable” way to make easy scale up of the technology possible. This will enhance a EU wide replicability and contributes to the development of supporting environmental policy and legislation. Technical objectives are:
- Demonstrating optimal beneficiation of WtE bottom-ash by (wet) physical separation technologies
- Running a prototype setup to scale-up leaching of the beneficiated metal concentrate efficiently and to show the recovery of zinc
- Demonstrating efficient leaching of the beneficiated bottom ash
- Demonstrating zinc recovery from beneficiated WtE bottom-ash
The PCR technology is bases on a leaching process followed by solvent extraction and electrowinning for copper. Together with Attero this concept was developed up to a pilot scale to proof feasibility. Today also more efficient (wet) physical separation technologies are available and under development leading to strong competition with the original developed PCR concept. This made Elemetal and Attero decide to apply the PCR technology more downstream in the value chain of bottom ash processing, where a more concentrated flow of copper is available. An extra benefit would also be the co-extraction of zinc which is significant available in these copper concentrates produced form bottom ash. The consortium aims to refine this copper and zinc into its pure metals by the PCR process. Through the years the PCR process made several iteration and now consists of a physical separation step (sensor sorting) followed by the hydrometallurgical process, which will be demonstrated within the LIFE project.