In this issue:
Project update
Meet the partners
Special report on ceramics
News Highlights

Project Update

Welcome back to the bi-annual FISSAC newsletter! If you were forwarded this bulletin, remember to subscribe
FISSAC aims to develop a new industrial symbiosis model and demonstrate its applicability as well as the effectiveness of the related processes, services, and products at different levels. Here is a brief summary of work achieved the past six months:

Construction products
Industrial manufacturers (cement, concrete, ceramic, and wood-plastic composite producers) spent the past 6 months working on the final evaluation of new products formulations at laboratory scale.

Software platform
The first FISSAC Software Platform Prototype Version will be ready in August 2018. The FISSAC platform integrates the existing components and FISSAC Methodology functions.

Living labs
The Living Labs are ongoing in different countries with  the objective to replicate the FISSAC model by promoting stakeholder acceptance.

New reports
In our new FISSAC report you will find an accessible introduction to the field of Technological Innovation Systems (TIS) and a case study explaining how the TIS methodology can be used in conjunction with a material journey, following a material from production to destruction and reuse.

The work carried out at each level is explained in our full update, available here.

Befesa Salzschlacke GmbH is a modern service provider based on the European circular economy policy. The company has closed the last gap in the aluminium material cycle with its processes for the residue-free reprocessing of salt slag and mill dust from the secondary aluminium industry and spent pot liner from the primary aluminium industry. In a closed water circuit, and ensuring the total capture and separation of dust and resulting gases, all resources are recovered and converted into saleable products (full recycling). The plants’ total capacity is about 300 000 t/annum at present.

In the FISSAC project, a material called Serox produced in the plant in Hanover (Germany) is being supplied for demonstrating several applications (cement and ceramic industries). This secondary raw material is a fine-grained mineral substance with high alumina content (65-70%), which is recovered from the salt slag recycling process. It can be successfully used in Europe as ready-made replacement for raw material as alumina source, thus reducing cost for the customers and avoiding the need to extract primary raw materials directly from the ground. For the FISSAC project, Befesa Salzschlacke GmbH relies on the R&D department of Befesa Aluminio, which acts as a third party, participating actively in technical tasks.

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden is an independent state-owned research institute offering unique expertise and one hundred test and demonstration environments for future-proof technologies, products, and services. In international collaboration with companies, academia, and the public sector, we contribute to a competitive business community and a sustainable society. Our 2 300 employees run and support all types of innovation processes.

RISE boasts a broad expertise within Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA), Life-Cycle Costing (LCC), and Technological Innovation System analysis (TIS) methods. In the FISSAC framework, RISE is therefore responsible for ecological and economic evaluation of the developed „green“ processes/products, for the evaluation of non-technical opportunities and obstacles for different business models, and for setting up Living Labs.

The Fundación Agustin de Betancourt (FAB) promotes and develops research areas in novel fields by its collaboration in several European research and innovation projects, offering expert knowledge in material performances and their application in civil engineering. The main research activities of FAB are divided into several research groups. One of the most important is the sustainable building group, whose mission is to boost contribution of research to the management, design, use, and performance of buildings and the built environment.

In order to disseminate their current research topics, the Foundation organises a large number of training courses and workshops oriented to promote these issues. Within the FISSAC project they will participate in the development and demonstration of implemented technologies and products. The main tasks FAB will be involvedin are the planning, definition, and development of demonstrator CS-3 through its knowledge on green concrete products.


The history of ceramics begins with the oldest civilisations. The first ceramics were pottery objects, artefacts and art/religious pieces. They were made from clay as raw material and transformed into a durable material by the action of heat. Later ceramics were glazed and fired to create a coloured, smooth surface. Ceramics now include different type of products:
  • Structural ceramics: bricks, pipes, floor, wall and roof tiles
  • Refractories: kiln linings, gas fire radiants, steel and glass making crucibles
  • Whitewares: tableware, cookware, pottery products and sanitary ware
  • Technical ceramics: engineering, advanced, special, and fine ceramics
The EU ceramics industry is a world leader in producing uniquely designed high-quality ceramic products such as structural ceramics, refractories, whitewares, and technical ceramics. The EU ceramic industry, with a global annual production value of around € 28 billion, provides over 200,000 direct jobs in companies (80% of them being SMEs). The ceramic tile industry constitutes the biggest sub-sector in terms of turnover among European general ceramic industries with around 1,200 enterprises and over 600,000 people employed, mainly located in Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, UK, France, Romania, and Portugal.

Ceramic tiles have always been widely used due to their durability, technical properties and visual richness. A ceramic material is an inorganic, non-metallic solid — often crystalline oxide, nitride or carbide material — prepared by the action of heat and subsequent cooling. Generally they are fragile, hard, strong in compression, weak in shearing and tension, and can withstand very high temperatures or sudden temperatures changes. Glazed ceramics can withstand damp and chemical and biological agents, with their hardness and scratch resistance remarkably reinforced.

Ceramic products are obtained making a wide use of natural raw materials like clay materials, feldspathic fluxes and/or quartzous sands and complementary raw materials like talc, carbonates, wollastonite, zircon, borates, lithium minerals, etc. These include the main body forming materials, involving high tonnages, and various additives, binders and decorative surface-applied materials which are used on a lesser scale.

KERABEN GRUPO’s commitment for producing environmentally-friendly and socially responsible ceramic tiles motivated the company to join ther FISSAC project and to explore the incorporation of several secondary raw materials to protect the environment while seeking to enhance the competitiveness of its products. The responsible use of natural resources and the environmental sustainability in ceramic processing are differential aspect that must take an increasing relevance in architecture nowadays. KERABEN knows that and wants to develop new ceramic concepts where sustainability, technical properties, and reasonable cost meet societal needs.

It is also worth highlighting efforts by ceramic tile manufacturers to control the generation of waste in order to keep it to a minimum, together with the search for and application of good environmental practices that can reduce associated environmental impacts, not only by applying them to waste generated as a result of maintenance, packaging, sorting, or office activities but also through their application to other spheres. The industry is currently researching the recycling options this material offers.

This webinar, held on 31 May 2018, was an overview of some social aspects of industrial symbiosis. The speakers were from the scientific field (Fredrik Björk, Malmö University), a consultancy company (Elke Roetman, Partners for Innovation), a research institute (Julia Jonasson, Research Institutes of Sweden) and a public waste agency (Arianne Acke, OVAM). During this webinar, the 40 participants got to know more about:

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they are linked to industrial symbiosis. The following goals were highlighted: SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 15 (Life on Land) and also 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions), 17 (Partnerships for the goals) with the importance of transparency and participation on all levels (communities, authorities);
  • The holistic approach of the SDGs and the interconnected goals. A project or an SME has to decide whether it wants to use them to communicate, measure, and/or improve its operations;
  • The need to separate two different processes when setting up the collaboration needed to create a successful and supportive Living Lab environment: Developing the group’s collaboration skills (doing this work leads to an improved ability to tackle technical complexities, i.e. the collaboration subject) and developing the group’s collaboration subject;
  • Industrial symbiosis: going beyond technical cooperation with two main subjects: job opportunities (creation, substitution, transformation) and business culture. To realise Industrial Symbiosis and Circular Economy, we need to look beyond the technical cooperation.
Follow this link to view the recording of the webinar.  

Case study “Manresa en Simbiosi” wins the 2018 Environment Prize of the Government of Catalonia
„Manresa en Simbiosi”, one of the three study cases of the FISSAC project, and the new office „Sinèrgies Bufalvent„, the first industrial symbiosis office in Catalonia, were awarded in the category of „Research, Development and Innovation projects“ at the recently held 2018 Environment Awards Ceremony of the Government of Catalonia.

The daily mission of the team at “Sinèrgies Bufalvent” is to identify, implement, and develop synergies among companies of the county of El Bages. The overall aim is to stimulate collaboration among different industry sectors and take advantage of underused or wasted resources (heat, by-products, waste, water, space, transport, knowledge…). This project is a continuation of the industrial symbiosis pilot scheme in Catalonia, “Manresa en Simbiosi”, which was promoted by the Manresa City Council and the Catalan Waste Agency. Símbiosy, one of the FISSAC partners, who acted as a trusted third party and catalyser during the process of setting up the project, still provides consultancy services.
BAMB final event and scientific conference – call for abstracts
Tools to enable the shift to a circular building sector have been developed by the BAMB project – Buildings As Material Banks. FISSAC is therefore pleased to share the consortium’s invitation to submit an abstract and participate in BAMB’s final event “Buildings as material banks – a  pathway for a circular future” (BAMB-CIRCPATH), which will be held in Brussels on 5-7 February 2019.

The first day will focus on the results of the BAMB project and will allow participants to provide feedback and exchange views on future steps. The two next days of the event will be dedicated to a scientific conference on the pathways towards a circular economy in the building/construction sector.

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit their abstracts of no more than 250 words by 1 July 2018 at the latest. The deadline for the submission of full papers is 7 October 2018. The scientific conference papers will be indexed in Scopus or Web of Science. More information can be found on the event page.
How would you describe your work to a child?

In the sixth General Assembly organised in April 2018 in Valencia, we asked FISSAC partners how they would describe their work to a child in one sentence. Here are some of our favourite answers:
  • “We are mixing something bad and mixing a delicious meal for you”;
  • If someone has some bad stuff and makes nature dirty, we try to find someone else to make that bad stuff good and we make it happen by making both sides happy in return”;
  • We help everyone understand how to play the game we are playing”;
  • “I work to use waste materials in the production of beautiful ceramic tiles”;
  • “In producing cement, we usually use natural raw materials like the soil that you see outside. With FISSAC we will use others’ wastes, like milk glass bottles, that our neighbour throws in the garbage”.                   

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