Industrial scale verification of technology for reuse of lea

Call title:
EIT Raw materials
Types of partners sought
Ragn-Sells AB is one of the largest recycling company in Sweden. Ragn-Sells have as a business idea to offer and create efficient solutions to minimize, take care of and recycle waste into resources. They currently operate a treatment site within the Kingdom of Crystal in Småland. In the current study the major part is within sorting, both in time and funding. Ragn-Sells has unique competences within the sorting of waste. RISE Glass is a section within the polytechnic institute RISE Research Institutes of Sweden. RISE is a fusion between SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Swedish ICT and Innventia and has as their main task to be Sweden’s research and innovation partner for the industry and society. As a strong, independent research institute, RISE offers a broad spectrum of specialty skills and services. RISE Glass is located at the premises of Linnaeus University in Växjö. One of the focus areas of RISE Glass is circular economy where waste management is an important part. Currently is RISE Glass involved in projects finding ways to separate lead from glass in excavations of landfills. SGU - The Geological Survey of Sweden – is the expert agency for issues relating to bedrock, soil and groundwater in Sweden. One key task is to meet society's need for geological information. SGU is also responsible for the Good-Quality Groundwater objective, which also involves reducing the use of natural gravel and also reducing the leaching of heavy metals to the ground water. Orranäs bruk is a company that exploit a park in Orrefors with the purpose to take advantage of the resources in the landfills that are present within the Kingdom of Crystal. The first step is to create a phytopark that in pedagogic way show plants that have the possibilities to purify soil, water and air. Within the park a "green" glass workshop will be founded where the walls of the workshop are created from plants and the forthcoming steps includes to develop methods to exploit landfill glass in different applications i.e. circular economy in practice.


In 2012 the Swedish government decided to mandate the County Boards of Kalmar and Kronoberg respectively to strengthen tourism and develop the glass industry within Kingdom of Crystal. In December 2014 the government decided to extend the mission to the end of 2017. Early in the mission the problem with contaminated glassworks sites was identified as one of the key obstacles for further development of tourism and industrialization.

The remediation of glass landfills is urgent; about 40 glassworks areas have been evaluated as high risk in Sweden. The pace of the remediation is expected to be increased as the total costs are reduced if profits can be made from sales of various new glass products/raw materials and metals. A successful technological and market development will prevent humans, animals and vegetation in the region from being exposed to toxic substances and will benefit tourism as well as the creation of new businesses. It’s likely that the viability of a more sustainable way to remediate than current "dig and dump" solution will require economy of scale.

Excavation is needed to reuse these areas. The existing method is to remove the material and redeposit at prepared site. To reuse the glass and extracting mainly lead is more expensive but sustainable.

Key elements of the EU KIC project

In laboratory scale a technique has been developed that separates lead and glass. The lead content of the glass can be decreased from 30 to<0.1 weight%. This means that the glass can be used for new glass products and the lead can be sold to a company producing lead. Industrial scale test is needed to verify both the separation of metal from glass and the separation of glass from other materials found at the excavation site.

If the industrial scale verification is positive the plan is to invest in a full scale production plant. Polluted areas can therefore be used for new businesses if lead and glass is reused. This will lead to new employment at sorting and a glass production plant.

There are several glass works and associate landfills within Europe, so this might be a problem for several European nations, regions and municipalities. We are interested in getting in contact with international partners with the same problem, i.e. with a need to decontaminate glass landfills in a sustainable way, i.e. separate the lead and glass and make new glass products. We intend to apply for money from EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology) Raw materials, one of the Knowledge and Innovations Communities. The application dead line is in February 2018.

Wanted additional partners

As described above we search for European nations, regions, municipals, or companies with the need to decontaminate glass landfills with the aim of de-lead the glass and make new products. We will also get in contact with those who have experience in this research area if they will share some knowledge with us.

Deadline of the call: