DEMO Phase 2 Results

From mid-2020 until march 2023 demonstration phase 2 was executed starting with engineering and followed by construction, commissioning and operating of the facility. The leaching process was re-engineered and the process was extended including the purification and crystallization section. Demonstration phase 2 was also executed at the location of PlantONE, Botlek-Rotterdam.

Phase 2 demonstration was engineered, constructed and successfully demonstrated during the period of May 2021 until March 2023. 

  • Approximately 1000 metric tonnes of copper and 130 tons of zinc have been processed and converted to pure zinc sulphate.


A LCA has been completed in May 2020 and a second version with updates on DEMO phase 2 in March 2023. The outcome from this study was that the environmental benefits could be optimized by fully focus on zinc recovery, and the LIFE PCR flow sheet has a positive environmental impact compared to the conventional way of treating the HNF-fraction.

Environmental Benefits

Copper and zinc recovered from WTE bottom-ash results in less copper and zinc produced from primary mining. Which leads to a climate change impact reduction. A LCA has been completed by comparing the Elemetal treatment with two conventional treatment methods for copper-zinc concentrates, this led to the following outcomes.

  • Reduction of 510 kg CO2-equivalent per tonne CuZnconcentrate
  • Reduction of electricity use is 350-1100 kWh per tonne CuZnconcentrate

The Elemetal process is also compared with the conventional production of zinc sulfate monohydrate. This process has a lower climate change impact than conventional primary zinc sulfate monohydrate production. approximately 1000 metric tonnes of copper and 130 tons of zinc have been processed and converted to pure zinc sulphate

  • 4000 kg CO2-equivalent reduction per tonne of zinc sulfate monohydrate produced when producing zinc sulfate monohydrate from CuZn-concentrate from WTE bottom-ash instead of from primary ore.


Replication activities

Currently Elemetal is working on the replication activities. A Layman’s report and an after-life-communication-plan have been published on this website. The next phase will be the scale up of the demonstration plant by a factor 5-10x. This will be done on a new location (different from the demonstration location). The phase 2 demonstration plant will continue to operate for 2023 and 2024 on its current location. After this period it will be evaluated if the operation will continue on its current location or that the demonstration plant will be relocated as well to its new production location.  Elemetal is also looking for partnerships with 3rd parties who are interested in the technology. Under the replication efforts also licensing of the technology will be evaluated.