COSMOS Project

Project title:

COSMOS - COlloidal Silica Medium to Obtain Safe inert: the case of incinerator fly ash.

Project objectives:

In these years projects have been developed for treatment and reuse of fly ash. A final target of these researches is to evaluate the real performance of the new materials obtained by the treatment and the actual and, if the case, potential markets for the foreseen products. Indeed, the use of a recycled inert would reduce the consumption of natural resources and this is one of the main environmental EU target. Examples are clinkering, road asphaltation and some construction work where specific performances are requested. Moreover, the reuse of inerted fly ash will obtain a reduction of carbon dioxide produced by the necessary treatments of primary materials, as limestone in concrete production.

At the University of Brescia (Italy) a new process, based on colloidal silica medium, has been developed and optimised during these years. This approach appears to be quite promising for industrial application in view of the easiness that can be foreseen in applying it to existing plants treating industrial fly ash. In addition, the obtained inert product (so-called COSMOS) show good mechanical properties when employed as a filler. This fact makes us confident that COSMOS can significantly help the target of the significant reduction of fly ash disposal. Indeed, the characteristics of COSMOS, already tested at the laboratory level, seems promising for pushing the reuse of inerted fly ash, as filler in matrices such as cement, plastics, rubber.

The aim of the project is the technological transfer of the know-how developed at the University for the inertization of fly ash by using silica colloidal medium and to demonstrate the industrial applicability of this technology. The industrial partners will be in charge of the prototype system construction to produce suitable amounts of the COSMOS filler. COSMOS will be used for evaluating its feasibility and the technological and economical advantages on different matrices. Three demonstrative products and the economical plane for their commercialisation will be delivered at the end of the project.

Expected results:

The environmental friendly character of the proposed technology aims at reaching specific targets, with positive impact on the environmental protection.

1. Generation of new applicative knowledge.

2. The project will demonstrate the industrial applicability of COSMOS (COlloidal Silica Medium to Obtain Safe inert) process.

3. It expected to obtain the reduction of fly ash obtained by Municipal Solid Waste Incinerator thus limiting the impact on the environment.

4. It creates a new environmental friendly product - COSMOS – with mechanical characteristics, which are similar or superior to some commercial fillers (obtained from natural sources).