The German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing is a higher federal authority related to the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. BAM works in three fields of application and two key technologies: Energy, Infrastructure, Environment, Material, and Analytical Sciences. The BAM division 4.4 “Thermochemical Residues Treatment and Resource Recovery” that is involved in the proposed project application is part of the department 4 “Materials and Environment”. The division performs research & development and consulting in the fields of characterization and thermochemical treatment of solid wastes. A number of these activities are focused on the conversion of contaminated materials and wastes with the main focus on the recovery of valuable resources. Amongst others, the division developed processes for recovery of zinc from zinc containing slag, chromium from stainless steel slags (EU-project RECARC), concrete and demolition waste (RECDEMO), tellurium from thin film photovoltaic panels (RESOLVED), Mn and Zn from waste batteries and phosphorus from sewage sludge ashes (EU-projects SUSAN, SUSYPHOS, P-REX). The precise characterization of waste materials is an important precondition for the development of recycling technologies. Chemical and structure analysis of the complex waste materials, such as red mud or sewage sludge ash, are performed at a very high level and in close cooperation with the BAM department 1 “Analytical Chemistry; Reference Materials”. In 2012/2013 BAM e.g. carried out a survey on German sewage sludge ashes to determine the recovery potential of valuable components present in sewage sludge ashes (SSA) from mono-incineration. All incineration plants in Germany were monthly sampled over a period of one year and the mass fractions of 57 elements including the rare earth metals were determined from all samples after optimizing the analytical procedure for each element/matrix-combination.
The high level of competence in the field of analyzing critical raw materials in complex waste matrices will put the proposed project on a solid basement. BAM will lead the effort for developing the ‘European inventory of Sc containing by-products’ utilizing existing national datasets as well as analyzing samples of by-products from North-West European Industries.